This week, my family said goodbye to someone very dear: Grandma Oberhansley passed away on the morning on January 27th. She will be greatly missed, and will live on in our hearts and our memories.
When someone passes away, it always makes people reflect on life. Life is a precious thing, and unfortunately, most people don't realize it until they lose someone close to them or their own life is in the balance.
Life goes by fast, no matter how much time you get. My best friend, Shelly, passed away two and a half years ago at the young age of 21 (sadly, her brother passed away this last year at the age of 22; party in peace, Shelly and Jon). The following May after Shelly was lost, my Great-Grandpa McCoid passed away at the age of 101. When he died, all I could think of was how fast it must've gone for him. He was older than the Panama Canal, saw human advancements ranging from bread that comes sliced in the package to men landing on the moon, and saw a range of wars from World War I to the War in Iraq (participated in some, but not all, as a member of the United States Army), and yet it's already over. Whether you get 21 years or 101 years, life flashes by quickly.
Unlike a movie, there is no way to tell how long your life is going to be. You can't just flip over the DVD case and see that there's 73 years, 28 days, 4 hours, and 17 minutes in the total running time of your life. I'm 25 right now; if I live to be 101 (which I doubt I will) then my life is already 25% over. But who knows how long we each get to live? It's a rare thing for a person to wake up in the morning and have any inkling that today will be the last day of their life, but the truth is that any day could really be the last day of our life. That makes life a pretty special thing.
After I went into remission from cancer, I was very bitter. I was angry and just kept wondering "Why did this have to happen to me?" Later, though, I realized I was lucky (yes, lucky, though I'd never wish cancer on anyone, friend or foe) to have had the experience. It shaped my life, in the best of ways- I gained an appreciation for each day that I have and all the people I get to share my time with. Life may be complicated (and downright difficult) at times, but life is beautiful.
So many people focus a lot of energy on the question "What is the meaning of life?" In my opinion, we should focus on a different question: "What is the meaning of my life?"
Are you happy?
Are you passionate?
Do you spend your time doing what you enjoy?
Do your loved ones know how much you appreciate them?
Do you find the simple loveliness of the little moments in life?
My Grandpa Bob has always told me that "life is too short to not do what you love." And yet, so many people spend their time working jobs they hate for a paycheck that barely gets them by, while they are too afraid to attempt to achieve their dreams. But why? Some people prefer the security of a "regular" job over the uncertainty of going after what they want the most. But in doing so, they give up the possibility that their dreams will ever come true. No risk, no reward.
I'm going after my dreams, and although I know I won't always be 100% successful, I'm going to keep going for them. I don't think of them as "dreams," I think of them as "goals," and I plan to work hard and enjoy the journey of making them happen. (I loved writing The Secret Room, and I can't begin tell you how much I am enjoying writing Reflections in the Window- absolutely loving it! You'll see it soon.) Because there isn't really a final destination until we are lying six feet under; life is an adventure, and if we don't enjoy the journey (the time we have here on earth), then what will we enjoy?