The other engineer said, “Good call, her clothes probably wouldn’t have fit you!”
I think that you will find that I started this post with a joke. I have a method to my madness. I want to talk about choices. Life and death choices. It is not funny, but at the same time we have to lighten up and not take everything so seriously!
Long story short, she ended her own life on Saturday, November 1st. I don’t know what side of the argument you are on to be able to end your own life or not, but that it is not the point of this post. The point of this post is to ask the question, “Why do you want to live?”
Now I know that may seem like a trite question, but it is not if you really think about it. Look at Brittany. I am sure she spent a long time thinking about that question all the way to the end. Obviously her answer led to her actions.
1. I want to do what God wants me to do.
2. Life has so much joy to offer, I don’t want to miss it.
3. I am afraid of dying so I want to live.
4. My favorite, I don’t know.
These are just some of the answers but they all follow the same theme, faith based or pleasure based or fear based. That is not satisfactory. It is important to have a strong reason to live.
Like Brittany, I am diagnosed with a terminal disease with a horrible end. If you don’t know, in a short amount of time, my whole body will stop moving and I will become completely paralyzed. The last thing that will happen is my lungs will give out and I will suffocate to death. That is not the fairy tale ending that I wanted.
But unlike Brittany, I have chosen to wait and see how the movie ends. I know what Doctors say but what if they are wrong?
You might be wondering how do I use this philosophy? Let me give you a real example. As you know, I have ALS. When you visit me, you will not find me wallowing in self pity. Why? Because if I wallow in self pity, that would not encourage you. No, if you see me defeated, you will leave defeated. That flies in the face of my mission. Instead, I want you to leave encouraged, therefore, I will discuss all the goodness in my life. That is the opposite of a pity party.
You will see a smile on my face and ironically, you will smile too. That way we both will have a smile, mission accomplished.
Winning, everyone wants to be a winner. That is why I don’t like when people say, he lost his fight with ALS. I am no doctor, but when I die, I am pretty sure the ALS will die too! So at worst, it was a draw. However, I did not lose, I actually won. I keep going, but the ALS does not.
Since I know how the story ends, I can remain very positive and leave an example for my children. They will face difficulties in their lives, I want them to draw from my example and get the most out of the experience and not give in to defeat. That is my hope for you as well. You are going to be faced with difficult situations, I hope you will realize that how you behave will have a ripple effect through your community.
Perhaps you don’t understand how important your actions are to your children. I know that I did not appreciate this fact as a young father, however, as an older father, I am watching my children and seeing how my behavior has molded their personalities. Extrapolating, how I die will mold their philosophy and consequently their lives.
I am reminded of a story. A philosopher, at the ripe old age of 86, found himself on his death bed. A horrible thought came to him. “What if my life was wrong?” Imagine you are about to die and you realize that you missed it. What would you do? How would you feel?
Fortunately, you are not at death’s door. That means you have an opportunity to focus on how you will be remembered and start to take action.