And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I watched an eagle as it was flyin’
And he said, Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin’ (written by Tim Nichols, Craig Michael Wiseman, recorded by Tim McGraw)
At first it seems like a macabre thought – to live like you are dying. And yet, at the end of the day, that is what we should be doing every single day. The reality is, my friends, that we never know what lies ahead.
Our family has had somewhat of a difficult summer. One daughter-in-law lost her father; another has had to undergo surgery; yet another lost her beloved aunt and her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I, of course, spent much of July suffering from a painful neck, which – after one thing led to another — resulted in four days in the hospital. Bill’s kids lost a much-loved uncle and my family lost a dear aunt. All-in-all, we were all quite content to say goodbye to July. Bring on the rest of summer!
But here’s the thing that makes me proud of my family – both immediate and extended. No one spent much time wallowing in pity. Instead, Monday night – the night before breast surgery – we celebrated over food and wine and lemonades and martinis.
My daughter-in-law Jll’s sister Julie can be thanked for putting the celebration together. It was time, she said in her email, to “kick off August and celebrate the good stuff.”
And celebrate we certainly did. Our four McLain grandkids (aka the cousins) looked freshly scrubbed and very gussied up as they arrived at the restaurant. Dagny, who celebrates her 9th birthday in a few days, proudly sat by the sign that said Happy Birthday in big, colorful letters. Her Aunt Julie gave her the privilege of picking out the appetizers for the table. She chose beef carpaccio and grilled artichokes. Yes, I said she was turning 9. Unfortunately, the restaurant was out of artichokes so she made do with a pepperoni pizza. Who wouldn’t? And she ordered beef tenderloin, medium rare. The server literally did a double-take. By the way, she ate every bite.
I’m sorry that Jll’s mother and my friend has to go through what she will go through in the weeks ahead. Her prognosis, I’m happy to say, is excellent. But what an inspiration that she chose to spend a night of fun, food, and plain joy prior to her surgery. What’s the use of being sad? God will bring us what he brings us.
We never know what tomorrow will bring, so live life like you are dying.