And What Followed...

Sunday, June 4, 2006

A Much Lived Life

Hi everyone. I actually wrote this in my journal yesterday. I hesitated at first to share it, but after I completed the second half, I felt that I should. It's a beautiful day out today. I hope you all get to take advantage of it. -CP


This morning I woke up with despair looming over me. Fear circled round my bed. Death reached out and grabbed my heart with thick icy fingers. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. "I am still alive" I thought, "You don't have me yet".

I took another deep breath and focused on light and love. I was alone. I thought of God. Another breath. "Love" and breathed deep again. A warm fire emerged from deep within my heart. A gold light enveloped me. "I am alive." Fear, Death and Despair slowly transmuted into Faith, Hope and Trust. The experience was almost alchemic. Perhaps this is what is meant by the Philosopher's Stone. By prayer, being aware of the preciousness of life and allowing love to flow, you can turn lead into gold.

I felt safe at that moment. And then I gently wondered, how many tomorrows do I have left?

Mom went back home to New York to rest and recharge her batteries. It has been so hard for her and I am glad that she is getting a bit of a respite. Monday, is a day of doctor appointments and I will get an update on the search for a donor. I will likely have scans in a week or so to see if the current chemotherapy is working… possibly buying a little more time.

I spend each day in gratitude, in quiet contemplation. Conversations are open and run deep. I savor the taste of a fresh crisp apple. I breathe in the pungent aroma of jasmine in the early morning. A tree is at its most wondrous when you walk underneath it and look up. The faces of my friends are so beautiful. Hugs are held longer and tighter. The sky looks different these days. I am reminded that the sun always shines even when you can't see it.

Very soon the dice are going to roll, weighted with the odds against us. I am still praying for a miracle. When facing hardship and/or death, you can try to run away or you can face it. Live not in denial, but in defiance. I think of Stephen Hawking and what he has accomplished despite the ravaged body he was given. Can you imagine the challenges of his everyday? And yet he inspires us by how he lives DESPITE them. It is not the external situation that matters but the inner being.

A Much Lived Life

If you were told you had less than 10 years to live, what would you do?
Would you mourn the lost years of the life you thought you could have had,
Or would you finally live the life you always dreamed of?

If you were told you had less than five years to live,
Would you spend your months in grief and anger,
Or live 50 years worth of life in five?

If you were told you had less than a year to live,
Would you isolate and be consumed with the sorrow of your impending death,
Or would you reach out, make a difference while you still can, take advantage of
every sunrise, making every moment, every word, every touch and every relationship
meaningful, pure, loving and fully alive?

If you were told you only had one month to live,
Would you curse and weep and lament your fate,
Or would you spend those last precious days sharing love with your family and friends,
remembering and laughing at the memories of your crazy beautiful luscious life,
thus creating new memories for your loved ones to cherish and carry on in their hearts?

If you were told you only had one day left to live,
Would you look back at your life in regret,
Or would you look back with peace?

The truth is, each one of us will die someday. And it doesn't matter if that day will happen tomorrow or in 50 years.
The question is: What will you do with the time you have left?
It is not too late.

It's not how long you live that matters, but how much.
And the biggest moments in life are the little ones.

With love,

1 comment:

lelet1322 said...

Hello Christine

One of your poems that i really love
and so inspiring.Thanks and continue writing poems about transplant just reading your poems makes the 'heavy baggage' we carry a bit lighter...

I'm also Filipino with Visayan parents like you.

Take care