Life is a series of decisions — and over the years I’ve made plenty of decisions, both bad and good, but I’ve paid special attention to the more recent ones. Since February, it seems there are no small decisions. If I follow the “standard of care”, will I live longer? If I lean into the disease and let it take its’ course, will I be more comfortable? I’ve decidedly taken both paths — beginning with radiation and chemo, neither of which felt right to me. And now I’ve come to the next road in my journey, where I’m learning acceptance, and to be at peace with the understanding that my time is extremely limited and what I’ve got (in all likelihood) isn’t going to disappear.
There’s a lot that passes through my mind on these sleepless nights — mostly my family and what comes next. I want to know if Susie, Graham, Hannah and Britta will continue to grow long after all of this. I hope they continue to fight for others’ needs right up until the end of their own needs. I hope they will draw more strength than pain from having experienced this adversity. I hope that they treasure the importance of each day and are understanding of the fleetingness of life. For my wife, I hope she continues to grow and prosper on the path we began together 30 years ago. For my son, I hope for him to realize his childhood dreams and to chase them wildly until he does. For my daughters, I hope boundless happiness.
One of the lessons I’ve learned in life is that happiness lies in discovering your passions and exploring them fiercely. And passions aren’t necessarily big, grand notions. We can also find passion in a rose garden and the smell of a puppy and the writing of a first grader. Wherever they are, whatever they may be, seek out your passions and cultivate them.
And the most important lesson I’ve learned throughout all of this, is that it is far better to do good for others, than to do good for oneself.
As for the question of what’s on the other side — truth is, I don’t know. But I believe that life is energy and energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only change forms. And whatever form I take on next, I just hope my connection to those I love will remain.