Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Living the Road

What is life? A big question….an even bigger answer. To tell you the truth I have no idea what life means. But I have a theory. To me, life is not defined by the beating of the heart, the act of breathing, or the ability to communicate. That is existence. Many creatures on this earth can do all of the things noted above. But they do not live. They simply exist. There is a difference between living and existing.

Imagine existence as a road. The road serves no purpose other than being there. It does not laugh, it does not cry, and it does not define the life lived upon it. The road has a beginning, a direction, curves, intersections, potholes, forks, and eventually an end. We each travel a different road, with different characteristics, but with two aspects that are always the same. The road has a beginning and an end. But the life lived on the road is up to us. We live our life on the road, but the road does not define the life lived upon it.

We may choose to walk the road, or run, or hop, skip, and jump along it. We may choose to avoid the risks associated with the road, or jump headlong into them. A road may be filled with obstacles that we have to overcome, but we should not blame the road for the obstacles. The road owes us nothing. Life is not characterized by the attributes of the road, but by the actions we take while traveling it. If we choose to let the road dictate our life, then the blame lies squarely on our shoulders. We choose the life lived, not the road.

Life is the act of making our existence count… it’s about making the trip worthwhile. Appreciating what the road has to offer as well as the challenges it presents. Simply put, life is making the road something more than nature intended.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

There's something about Chrissy

My wife Chrissy (or Chris) died in Dec of 2009 of breast cancer.   It was a horrific experience and it really made me appreciate what I have, as well as what I have lost.   It's amazing to me how easy it is to ignore the things that really matter in life.   I'm a different person now.   I used to be rather negative about things in general and it's ironic that losing the sweetest person I've ever met in my life has made me more positive.   It's a paradox.  

Don't get me wrong, I can still be negative but not to the degree that I was before she died.  I think it's because I realize how quickly something can be taken away, and you need to appreciate what you have.  I was talking to my wife's sisters last night, and it was a great conversation.   Listening to their ideas of what the afterlife is like, how it works, etc...   I am unsure if there is a god, an afterlife, etc...  I just don't know.  But we started talking about what we missed most about her.  I've been asking everyone I know what they miss most about my wife.   And it's amazing.   It's a common theme.  How she made everyone feel comfortable, loved, or just so special.  She had a gift that is very rare. How many people do you know can make anyone they meet feel special, without "faking" it.   That was her gift. 

Don't get me wrong, she had faults.  She was not a perfect person.  But she had a way about her that was open and honest. A gift for making you look at yourself in a way that you never knew you could.  She made you look at what was special about you.  I'm lucky to have known her.  I'm even luckier to have married her.  And even luckier that I got to spend 26 years with a person who is one in a million.

And I loved her enough to let her go.