Wake Up To Life

I would like to think I live my life the way I want, on my own terms—shoot, I advertise that idea. But, to be honest, I don’t. I realized this just a couple of days ago.

It was a couple of days ago we found out my uncle, G.W, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that has metastasized to his liver. The doctors say, if not attacked aggressively, he has mere weeks. That’s a damn knife to the heart if there ever was one. Also, a wake up call.

I cried. I cried my eyes out for a good part of the afternoon and evening. I wasn’t sad for myself as much as I was sad, no, heartbroken, for my family—his wife Cheryl, his two boys, their wives, and those darling little grandbabies that might not be able to spend their lives with him as planned. How could this be? He is so young!

It was Jared who knocked some sense into me. This is G.W.—one of the most badass, sweet-hearted men I have ever met. He commands a room with his intimidating presence, but leaves everyone in awe of his sweet soul by the end of the night. He is the one to deliver the most beautiful and tear inducing prayers before every holiday dinner and still kind of scare the tiniest of littles with his beard. He is the focal point of every occasion and it is obvious why—he lives with intention. He is bold, daring and lives life on purpose. If anyone can beat this, he can.

There are certain experiences in life that wake you up to life. Usually, and unfortunately, it is something traumatic that causes you to question the way you live your life. Some ignore it because it is easier, but some rise up and accept the challenge. You can either focus on the negative aspect of every experience or search for the something you are supposed to learn. This is the time to learn.

I have done a lot of thinking the last couple of days about how I live my life. My acknowledgement of my own insecurities made me feel little and imprisoned. Have I really been living the life I want or just living the life I think people would expect of me? I thought I had overcome that way of thinking, but upon deeper reflection, I haven't.  Ouch. It is time to let go of living on other’s expectations of you.  It also made me think of the “things” we cherish. It is silly all these things we find important. What do you think you would imagine is important if they told you it is your time? I had already started the process of eliminating “things,” but it is time I do a reevaluation. Lastly, I have thought about how I treat my body. Your body is your temple, and it should be treated as such. Why do we poison ourselves? Why is convenience so much more important than truly nourishing our bodies? Get back to nature.

Yes, vegetarian again. Spinach balls. Yum.

Yes, vegetarian again. Spinach balls. Yum.

Of course I don’t know the secret to life, but I think it has something to do with giving value to everything you do, being very intentional with your actions and living not for you, but for others. Many of us have lost sight of how to value every second, every person and every experience in our lives. It is hard to give everything a meaning, but you will find yourself more fulfilled if you do.

G.W, you are an inspiration to so many. You are truly an inspiration to me. You didn't have to wake up to life. You have lived your life with purpose! We all know you have what it takes to overcome this. Fight!

All, please consider donating to support G.W.’s fight.