As I deal with the death of my mom and wait patiently the birth of my first grandchild in December, I have taken some time to take a look at my life and my mortality. As Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living”. As we age we look back and many times we ask, “what would we have done differently” or we say, “I definitely would have done this differently”.
As I begin making sense of my mother’s untimely departure from my life and my first grandchild’s seemingly simultaneous arrival, I began to take a long look at my life and ask those same tough questions. I began to wonder, after my mom died, was I next, was 18 years all I had left? My mom died at 62, she died so young. All the other women in my family have lived to be 96, 88, etc….I began to wonder what if anything I would change, if I had accomplished all I set out to be. I made a comment one day to my husband that I had been alive for 44 years and had nothing to show for it. He had to remind me that I have 3 wonderful sons, all successful, happy, bright, intelligent, well-adjusted adults, and they are strong, healthy and loveable Christian human beings. I felt ashamed of myself. Why is it we look back and say we would change so many things knowing we wouldn’t, couldn’t even if we wanted to?
Why does it take someone dying to make us take a look at our life and examine the things we have become? Is it because all of sudden we begin to feel our own mortality? I know lately I have really felt it. I began to take a new look at all I had become. In the years since high school I have traveled the world, been to many exotic places, served my country and raised 3 wonderful sons, and managed through it all to work full-time and earn 4 degrees in Criminal Justice. So, why did I feel like I had not accomplished much of anything? I understand now it was because I was afraid I did not have much time left to do all the things I wanted to do. But, I know now that that is not true. I have always lived every day like it is my last and I am going to keep on doing so. I urge you to do the same.