What a horrible question to contemplate when time is up. How much better to contemplate that when there is still time to address the issue! I posed a similar question to Laura in early October.
I prodded her to tell me whether or not my life mattered. I knew my time was drawing to a close and I wanted the love of my life to help me make sense of my existence. Little did I know that I had pressed the launch button and Laura, in typical Laura fashion, took off!
Laura took it upon herself to make sure that I knew that my life mattered. She got to work planning the most spectacular surprise for me. I am sure she put in many late nights and countless hours planning just to show me the answer to my question.
Little did I know, I was the guest of honor, but that was quickly revealed as I entered the venue and all the guests greeted me with shouts of “Surprise!” followed by a festive rendition of “Happy Birthday”.
I was shocked! I could barely control all the emotions I was feeling and couldn’t help but cry tears of joy at seeing so many friends around me!
As the guests quickly took their seats, Laura began a presentation that would shock me and bring me to tears over and over. Laura walked everyone through the story of my life, the places we lived, the jobs I had, giving people a picture of where I had been. The girls and Laura followed that up with a fantastically funny skit going back through the highlights of my life. All this was to prepare the audience for the parade of guests that were about to enter.
They were followed by guests from my childhood in St. Louis, my early years as an engineer, from our first time living in Texas, as well as our most recent stint there. The entrance of each guest was a surprise to me! Each one proceeded to the microphone at the front of the venue.
Laura had asked each one to prepare some thoughts about how knowing me had made a difference in their life. I had no idea my life had made such an impact! What a wonderful birthday gift to receive - knowing that my life had mattered!
There were also a lot of people in the room who didn’t have the opportunity to speak. Those were the people from the Vancouver area who have mainly only known me as an ALS patient. Even though for some that is the only part of my life they know, they still came to let me know that I continue to make a difference. I know that because they wrote me wonderful notes to that effect that my wife is compiling to print in a book for me.
While you may or may not ever see it as I did, I am confident when I say that you are making a difference and your life matters. I know because that is, and has always been, God’s plan for each of us. Whatever you are facing, keep forging ahead. Each day of your life matters.
This is the video that was shown at the party, made by my wife, Laura. She put in countless late nights secretly compiling pictures that would summarize the life I have lived, from when I was just a child all the way through last year!