March 12, 2008 at 3:51 pm
· Filed under ,
Reposted from my
blog, in response to their Question of the Day (QotD); this one’s a little heavy, but hey, my blogging can’t be all YouTube and TheOnion –
If you had one month to live, what five things would you do?
1. Start a video diary for Sara, who turns one year old on Saturday, March 15. I would try (in vain) to pack it with all of my life lessons, snippets of wisdom, mistakes, hopes, fears, words of support, guidance and encouragement for her. Everything from the hokey, “How much I loved you before you were even born,” to all the annoying motherly discussions I would have with her if I had all the years in the world left with her (which God willing, I do!) Justin would do this with me, so she could see how much we love each other and how much we both care for her–so that she would have that resilient, lasting image of her mom and dad when they were happy, healthy and together to hold on to and build on.
2. Find the most memorable and romantic way to spend a week to ten days in Ireland and Scotland, and have the trip (literally) of a lifetime with Justin–just the two of us. Sara is too young to form accessible memories of me, if I were to pass away now, so she would be fine with 7-10 days with family while we had our time. Justin’s been my rock for 20 years as of this November, and it’d be incredibly important to me that we have uninterrupted time to “just be” and embrace life, embrace all that we are as a couple so that in my absence he could internalize all the best things and discard all the baggage and continue on to enjoy a productive, happy life for both himself and for Sara, our daughter.
3. Make financial arrangements so that, even though I don’t work in corporate America anymore–or even bring in a sizable portion of our household income–whatever financial contributions I can make get made in the smartest way possible, to help both Sara and Justin. I don’t know, maybe auction off the Ford Escape Hybrid to the highest bidder, and definitely teach my family how to do the basic work to keep our various websites running so they continue earning income long after my bones are brittle and cold.
4. Go through my boxes of mementos, letters and photos and create lasting collections that Justin, Sara and my future grandkids could look at to have a glimpse at my life growing up, and Justin and I–our life as high school sweethearts and now going on 10-years-married.
I dive into these every couple years, usually to reconnect with where we’ve been, and there’s something incredibly empowering in revisiting where you’ve been, even if it wasn’t always easy or altogether successful at times. At the same time, make sure that family photos finally made it up on the wall–it’s comical that two professional photographers (though I wince when I say that about myself as of late–all I seem to shoot are Blackberry cameraphone pics and the occasional Powershot video) have almost no photos on their walls at home–like, what, 6 photos on the wall and one isn’t even ours (my bridal portrait, by ).
5. Lastly, just enjoy and savor and celebrate everything. If that means getting drunk for only the second time in my life, so be it (but go all out–not on cheap champagne, this time!) as long as it’s with people I love and whose company I enjoy. If it means spending an absurd amount for a really, really nice meal out, so be it, with the same caveats. If it means waking up at 4 AM and sneaking myself and Sara into the State Park to walk (or, if sans-toddler, bike) the trails in the ethereal pre-dawn hours, so be it. If it means calling Justin up at work and telling him there’s a “family emergency” that requires he meet me at mile marker 3 on Padre Island National Seashore before sunset, so be it.
If I had time, I’d try to get in some firsts–first skydive (tandem’s OK), first SCUBA dive, first ride in an acrobatic aircraft (yes, I’m sure I’ll toss my cookies, so be it.)
Above all things, no regrets. Life is too short for regrets, even if we don’t know when we’re going to be checking out.
March 13, 2008
Writing that post reminded me of Erma Bombeck’s essay about “If I had my life to live over…”
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