In May I read a story about a young man in Arizona who’s life journey ended much too quickly. He had survived cancer when he was very young and it had remained in remission for many years before returning with a vengeance in his senior year of high school. He passed away shortly before graduation.
He lived each day with the motto GO BIG OR GO HOME and it was his motto until the last day of his life! When I read his story it was definitely a story that I needed to file into my if you dare feel sorry for yourself pick one of these stories out of this folder and snap out of it .
You see I don’t give in often to the “poor me” mentality because I realize there are a lot of people who would gladly change places with me in a heartbeat. Their problems and challenges are far worse than mine. I keep a file on my computer with articles I can read to right my ship again. It helps me realize I can keep pushing on. I think sometimes we forget, but you see we are so blessed, we are still alive. If others can look death in the face and say go big or go home and keep living life to the last breathe, what do I have to complain about?
I must admit I look through obituaries every once in a while, because I like reminding myself that at any moment I could be among the pictures. I like to be reminded that life is fragile. It doesn’t scare me but makes everything more precious. I like to read the words from their loved ones and wonder what my legacy will be. I don’t care about what they will say about me, what I do need to think about is what is my go big or go home motto, what saying defines my life?
I decided long ago that I was not going to wait to tell my family and friends the things that I would put in their obituary. I tell them often all the goodness I see in them and how I feel about them. I remind them of my admiration and love for them as often as I can and let them know how important they are to me. I want them to live everyday knowing that I love them. I think these are things that too many people wait to say. Waiting until tomorrow may just be too late.
Why do we keep our loving thoughts inside, why do we feel uncomfortable sharing them with those dear to us? Does it make us vulnerable, leaves us open to hurt if they don’t respond in kind or as we want them to. Do we think that we are giving in because they had maybe been previously critical or haven’t shown us the love or respect we feel we have deserved or somehow they missed seeing our needs and left them unfulfilled?
Think about it, it has nothing to do with them; it only has to do with you. It is a gift for us to give ourselves. It strengthens our foundation. It allows others to let their guard down and maybe be kinder and gentler and more open towards us. It lets them know that no matter what they think of themselves that someone loves them. It gives them strength to rise to the best part of themselves. It can start someone on the road to see and then live up to the best of who they are.
I think my motto will be making each ordinary day, extraordinary. I think when we tell someone how much we care, it can make an ordinary day, an extraordinary day for everyone and I believe that is something, for now, I would like to aspire to . Have you thought about your motto. Do you have a saying that you feel defines you?
As for the young man who left this part of his journey too soon, I am sure that he knew the depth he was loved, and I am sure that he told the people he loved how he felt about them. Certainly he was aware how fragile life is and I am sure that everyone who knew him realized he died as he lived. He went as big as he could for as long as he could and when he was tired and no longer had the strength, after giving it everything he had, it was then time for him to go home. Love to all. Kim