American educator and president of George Washington University in the 1920’s William Lewis Moore once wrote, “The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it”. I’ve lived life for 29 years, a life that I was blessed with because the doctors always said I wouldn’t have it. It’s a life that most wouldn’t want which includes doctors’ visits, very tired moments, and daily medications, but it’s my life and as crazy as it sounds I am so grateful for this blessed life.
Blessed? Everybody’s definition of blessed is different. Some believe a person is not blessed unless they have more money then they know what to do with. Others believe a person is only blessed if they have love and family. I personally believe a person is blessed too simply be living. It makes me think of the quote, “Don’t regret growing old, it’s a privilege denied to many”. It’s a privilege I pray to have, one my own father didn’t have, and one if I receive I will use to the best of my ability.
I’m going into heart failure. Doctors say five years and a transplant will probably be needed. Doctors tell me that I can’t be as active as I wish to be. My mom tells me to slow down and I’ve even heard local residents whispering, “That job is killing her”. It’s not and in all honesty I’m at one of the happiest points in my life, tired body, unknown future, and all. I do push myself to the edge, I stay outside in the heat longer then I probably should, and I run up and down those sidelines like I’m back in my teen years, but I love every minute of it. I’m living my life, not just merely watching it go by.
Deceased Graceville mayor Charles Holman is one of my heroes. He never made millions of dollars and he won’t be in any national hall of fames, but Mayor Holman proved that no matter how old you were, living life to the fullest is always a choice. I’ve heard the story at least a dozen times, about ten years ago, Mayor Holman got sick and Covenant Hospice came to help out, but Mayor Holman wasn’t out of the game, he came back better then ever and decided that instead of being helped by Covenant, he would help Covenant so he became a volunteer. No matter how tired, old, or sick Mayor Holman was, he always got up, got out, and helped somebody. His daughter, Donna Meldon quoted her father last week at the Senior Citizens’ Health Fair, she commented that her daddy used to tell her, “I may die, but it doesn’t mean I have to rust” and I swear he was talking to me.
My and my mother’s biggest argument is that I need to slow down. My grandmother would love for me to just stay in bed, and my husband just supports me unsure of what to do in this situation. As crazy as it sounds, since getting pregnant and going into heart failure, I have become more active and push myself further then I ever did. My parents never raised me as a “sick child” but I knew my limitations. Now, I don’t care about the limitations because I just want to live while I can.
I don’t want to rust. I don’t want to sit back and watch life go by in the audience. I want to be in the game or at least on the sidelines getting an up-close view. I don’t want to die, but we all die, the only difference is some of us never truly live, and I want to live. American humorist and author Erma Bombeck said it best, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’”.We will all met our Maker one day, are you going to be able to tell him that you pushed through every wall, climbed every mountain, and jumped off that cliff learning how to finally fly or will the only answer you have be the rust you called life?