It has been a tough few years and today is a reminder of it. There are days that it feels like if anything else goes wrong the world will implode. There are days when staying in bed all day seems like the only reasonable action.
8 years ago my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. To be honest, it sucked, but it didn’t seem like a huge deal. He was relatively healthy, ridiculously knowledgeable in the field of natural medicine and had the most positive attitude of almost anyone I have met. If anyone was going to come through unscathed, it was him. For years he pursued treatment with a host of wonderful doctors, naturopaths and various other support networks. Sometimes the treatments worked and sometimes they didn’t. In the 4th and 5th year of his battle, long-term hospital stays became the norm. I would haul my 3 kids including newborn twins in to see their Grandpa in the hospital. I can describe most hospitals in the Edmonton region – best parking, best view, best food, etc. Eventually he was moved into a palliative care hospital.
The staff at the palliative care hospital could not understand why he was sent to their facility. If you are sent to palliative care, doctors typically expect you to pass within 6 months. My Dad would come out to the farm and work on tractors, he would go to arts and craft classes, he lived life as best he could. He was not well, but did not look like someone who should be in palliative care. The staff even considered removing him from the facility because he was too healthy. It was five months into his stay and exactly one year from today that he transitioned to his heavenly home. My Mom, brother and myself were all in the room with him when it happened. Being with someone when they die is a life-changing experience. One that I can’t fully describe. It makes life seem more real. Anything can happen at any moment – we can be here one breath and gone the next.
A couple of weeks ago, another tragedy occurred that reminded me of this same lesson. My Uncle was cycling and was struck at highway speed by and oncoming truck. Once again, one of the most positive and caring people I know. He is alive – in no small part due to many prayers, but has a long road to recovery in front of him. When he got on his bike that morning, he didn’t think that the journey would end with STARS airlifting him to the hospital at the end of the day. He was just living life.
So you may be wondering why I have shared all of this. Partly because I find it cathartic, but mostly because it will allow you to understand my WHY.
Why I do what I do, Why I am who I am.
Life is fragile and beautiful. It can be taken away from us in the blink of an eye. I want to live with purpose in mind that today may be my last day. Was I kind? Was I a good example to those around me? Did I help those I could?
Life is too short to dwell on sadness and tragedy. Life sucks sometimes. It does for you and it does for me. But what can you take from these tragedies – there is always a lesson that can be learned if you are looking for it.
Appreciate your friends and family. That is what matters. Possessions come and go.
Everyone needs faith – something and someone to believe in. Sometimes knowing God is in control is enough, even if life doesn’t make sense at the moment.
Take care of yourself. Sometimes freak accidents happen that cannot be avoided, but more often than not bad dietary choices and lack of exercise lead to health concerns and diseases. You may not beat the odds, but you can at least turn them in your favour.
My passion is helping people get the most out of their lives. This is my Why!
What is your why?