I met a dying man yesterday

It is a weird feeling to meet someone that knows they have only a few month left to live. It is even stranger to have that meeting take place at a Sam’s Club, but that is exactly what happened to me yesterday. I was loading up my cart with candy for my vending machines, and so was this guy with his daughter and grandchild.  We struck up a conversation about vending machines and he said he was selling his since he has pancreatic cancer and less then a year to live. Whoa, what do I say to that?

So, we chatted for a few minutes and I know he was hoping I would buy his machines and I actually feel bad that I can’t, because I am sure he has better things to worry about then unloading his side projects (I know about those).

I can’t imagine the feeling of knowing how limited your remaining days are. I think I would be the type to start ignoring all the bullshit day-to-day stuff I normally worry about and just try to enjoy my family as much as I possibly can. But then I ask myself, if I would stop doing that stuff then, why do I do it now? Because who knows how many days any of us really have. Obviously I can’t stop paying bills or start living recklessly, but I do wonder if I am wasting too much time doing things that are ultimately not important enough to be wasting my life with.

One of my quotes, in my Random Fave Quotes at the left side of this blog, is:

‘Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.’ —  Albert Einstein

I feel I did learn from my chance encounter yesterday. And I always have hope for tomorrow. I guess I just need to figure out the living for today part.

I was always a huge fan of Carpe Diem, which I am sure I first learned about from Dead Poets Society. (I remember I wrote a paper about it in high school and misspelled ‘Seize the Day’ as ‘Cease the Day’ throughout, yet somehow the teacher didn’t catch it. I still struggle to understand how ceasing the day made any sense to her?)

I even had a good number of years where I felt I really lived by it – its amazing the power that confidence, optimism and a mindset for seizing the day can provide. But I wonder if its even possible in today’s world to maintain that beyond your youth? Once a recognition of our mortality begins setting in, that sense of invincibility vanishes and with it much of the confidence and optimism that makes “going for it” so easy.

Not sure how to end these thought on a happy note. I guess I will just have to be glad for every day I get and make sure not to waste my opportunities to be with friends and family … and eat good food! (Can I use  this as an excuse to quit dieting? Please.)

One Response to “I met a dying man yesterday”

  1. See, I think it’s the universe telling you to work less! :)