I have a friend who is fighting for his life this week.
I won’t reveal his name or go into the details, out of respect for his privacy, but the development was sudden, unexpected, and dire. One instant everything was easy. The next, urgent.
Praying people pray in these moments, I know. If you do, and if you think it will help, I appreciate it. I tend to compartmentalize at times like this. I dig in. Unless there is something physically that I can do, then I stick to my routines, wait for word. Hope.
It brings to mind the simple fragility of our journey. The precariousness of our bodies. Every day of our lives we spend time seeking something we wanted, or fulfilling an obligation, or trying to pay the bills. We seek comedy and closure, companionship, and some sort of inner calm. We put off thoughts of mortality for as long as we can. That day is forever away.
Something like this is a reminder. It reminds us to love, to express our love, to fill our days with things that bring us joy. To bring joy to others. It reminds us to take better care of ourselves, and never ignore the signs our bodies give us. Pain is there for a reason. Discomfort. That nagging, gnawing feeling. Swelling. It isn’t always just something that goes away.
Because of the expense, or the inconvenience, we put it off. Because we put it off, things get worse. The worse it gets the more we fear it will cost, in time or money. The cycle is endless and, too often, deadly.
I believe everything will be just fine. I’ll hear the laughter of my dear friend again soon. I think we’ll joke about this moment for years to come, because my friend jokes about everything. I believe all of this because it is the only thing I can believe right now. Any other notion would be unthinkable.
So I get ready to go to work, to fulfill my obligations. I’ll put off any thoughts of my own mortality, or of his. I will pay better attention to my own aches and pains. I’ll pray. Whether there is anything out there to hear it or not, I’ll pray. Words of encouragement cast into the firmament can do no harm. Positive vibrations could bring positive results. He and I will laugh about that someday.
So please take nothing for granted. Go show your love. Spread some joy. Live like you have forever, but understand that you may not have tomorrow. Know your limits but chase your dreams. Do everything you’ve been putting off.
Do it for my friend. He’s fighting for his life.