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It's important to be silly, to be serious, to be strong, to be frail...for what is life if we only shared a mask?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

On Living, Birthdays and Taking Stock

Ironically we seek to live when we are reminded about death. So when a birthday approaches, I typically tend to let it be...and many birthdays have slipped away like a thief in the night.

This year however, three incidents took place in close proximity. The first instance was early March, when we found out a good friend lost his sister suddenly to a random illness. The second was Natasha Richardson, actress, wife and mother of two who goes vacationing, hits her head on a ski slope and without warning this becomes fatal. Does it make sense? Absolutely not. She probably thought that bump on her head would be nothing serious. A perfectly normal day. She probably woke up looking forward to a relaxing vacation. Finally, my good friend Ron Todd who having survived melanoma got double whammied once again by the deadly C and is fighting to kick this monster.

It seemed like a wake up call this month. Questions that surface like bubbles on still water. Where are we heading and how do we make the most of our time on earth. What do those 3 blind sisters holding the scissors have in mind...what discussions are they having right now and about whom?

Coming back to living and an urge not to let another birthday slip away unnoticed by myself. To look at aging another year in the eye and say "I see you and I raise a toast to you!" And reminding myself that I do need to look into my bucket list and start working on it. Can we rewind, no? Can we fast forward, sure...when we refuse to pause to enjoy. Emerson states simply but succinctly "We are always getting ready to live, but never living."

Which led me to...taking stock of what was, what is and what may be. And you realize that it matters naught what you have but who you hold in your embrace. Who you touch with your love, your words, your actions, your thoughts. Without judgement. Four hundred people attended a prayer vigil for Ron last Tuesday in California. There is another vigil being held in Austin this Tuesday. Regardless of the outcome, Ron is already a hero to many.

As Thomas L Odem Jr says "If the essence of my being has caused a smile to have appeared upon your face or a touch of joy within your heart. Then in living - I have made my mark."

Here's to facing mortality by leaving immortal footprints.