And now it is Christmas 2012, another one that "wasn't supposed to be", what do doctor's know any way? Last I looked, God was the only one with his hand on the dial, anyway, here I am! What a miracle! Actually I find everyday to be a miracle now, good, bad or indifferent, simply a miracle to have the gift of that next day, pretty awesome in my book. I have lived a life of selfishness and ingratitude towards what I have and those around me, I do NOT adhere to that anymore....No, everyday is a holiday, every minute is a "moment, every conversation is an enlightenment ...People like to use that simple greeting, "Hey it's great to see you!' I ALWAYS answer, "It's great to be seen!"...and it is.
Looking back at my post one year ago today, I found myself reading a passage that still holds as true today as it did the moment it was written...
I myself, and I suspect some others as well, have begun to take Christmas far too much for granted, and am mesmerized by the joy I feel tonight in not having done so, for a change. Yes, it is the birth of Jesus, but I for one think, and feel, it holds so very much more in meaning. Christians, in spite of popular belief, do NOT hold a monopoly on this joyous holiday, I like to believe that it is in fact, a Universal opportunity for Joy, Hope, Faith, Love, and Togetherness, meant for all, regardless of sect or non-sectarianism, to enjoy, grow from and give hope for the future of us all.
My particular scenario, being terminally ill, does play a part in my interpretation, yet I don't believe that it clouds my thoughts or feelings, quite the opposite, I believe it opens my views up to a scope that the "non-dying" fail to appreciate. To begin with, we are all dying, my "non-dying" jab was just that, an intended playful jab at all of us who believe tomorrow will surely come. Don't get me wrong, belief is a great thing, hope is what drives us all. So if it is a natural belief to think that tomorrow is a given, and to hold faith in the future, is it wrong then to have Faith, or Belief in anything else in this world?
I believe that God has chosen this path I walk for a purpose, I do not, on the other hand believe that I am pre-destined, a puppet merely playing out his part. I have choice, I have ideas, I have actions (good and bad) to take, I have rewards, I have consequences, and just as deeply, I believe that no man dies, gets sick, falls down, gets Cancer, because he or she deserved or earned it. Life Happens.
Yes, sometimes we smoke for example, raising the bar for Cancer, just as sometimes we make that quick turn in the sports car that exposes us to an element of risk, but neither action is just as sure to cause the predicted outcome as it is to just as easily pass us by harmlessly. What is for sure, without a doubt, go ahead and write it in stone...is that if we live a good life, have Faith in a Higher Power, show love to others, help when possible, teach where asked....we can and will have a very good experience, however brief or extended, we will feel good when we do good. Isn't this the basis of nearly all "Religions", do good and you will be good?
All I am saying here is that if we can so"Faithfully" expect tomorrow and our futures to unfold, can we not "Faithfully" believe that there is a driving force that binds? Christmas means a lot of different things to a vast array of different thinking folks, but I believe it means one thing to any and all who can be truthful with themselves for a moment. It means family, joy, beginnings, emotion, giving, festivities, in general, it means a day in the year where we celebrate as a world, either by Jesus, or Santa, or Family unity based around all of the other religious holidays, that by the way, in no small miracle, seem to happen in generally the same seasonal time frame? We really do all want to celebrate a good day and have hope for the future. I want to have hope for the future, yet some still look upon me with pity due to my diagnosis, guess what, it dims my spirits not one little bit, for real!
I actually had a friend ask me tonight if he could be 'selfish' (not selfish at all!!!). He said he had never known a terminally ill person personally before, and he wanted to know if when I died and went to "Heaven"would I watch out for his family if such a time came. Imagine, being asked in advance if I would be a Guardian Angel of sorts?! Wow, if I get there and that is a real job being offered, I will sign up in a heartbeat, and gladly be a very busy one at that. All of my life, I have simply wanted to mean something special to someone, what an honor that would be. And sitting there celebrating this Holiday with my family tonight, I realized I had already achieved that dream. I am already special to a whole bunch of someones, and what an honor it is to be priveledged enough to know that before I die.
And so this picture says it all. A small token of Christmas with an enormously important underlying meaning. It is, as has been passed through the years a season of Giving, of Joy, of Love, of Strength, of Sharing and of Hope.
No matter what brings you to my humble blog, possesses you to read, and then contemplate...if only for a brief moment...it is, I believe, that "enormously important underlying meaning. And that meaning being, that if we pass through this world and this gift of life so freely given, without at least making an attempt, grand or small. If we just simply pass through, contributing little and taking much. If we just simply pass through without that special moment, that special picture that we have placed in another's as well as our own mind's eye. Well, then we have wasted what could have been a grand and glorious gift to ourselves, to another, and yes, to the world.
And what a terrible, remorseful thought to have when the time comes and all that is left are those few and fleeting thoughts racing through our minds before us, mental pictures, and sweet memories that really will let us "Rest in Peace". I am not ready to rest just yet, but when i do... Somebody please take a picture of that smile on my face and remember it, for it will be the smile that tells it all.
Merry Christmas, and "God Bless Us All! Each And Everyone"
In "Lonesome Dove, when litte Newt and Woodrow Call were trapped in the crevices along the Red River, surrounded by Indians, waiting for dark to be attacked, Call calmly said the most profound words (who cares if it was words out of a book, or off a movie script) " You know Newt? I don't guess it matters much where ya die, what's important in Life is where you lived."
I have and continue to live in my heart, along with all of you to whom I graciously, humbly, yet proudly call my friends. In my heart, and thankfully as of late, looking down roads like this.