Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
It is also the last day of your yesterdays.
And we all know tomorrow never comes.
We grasp at life when death threatens, but do I fully live life today?
I thought I had cancer once. Pregnant with my third child the routine pap said dysplasia. But how to treat abnormal cells when the infected walls formed my new baby's home. Just wait and see and test and hope. So for nine months we waited as life grew inside and prayed that death was not its neighbor.
Those were interesting months. Initially the fearsome specter had us huddling and uttering helpless pleas and prayers. But then he became familiar. And I realized he is always with us. The possibility of death. And he was somehow "de-fanged".
That's when fear left, and life became precious. TODAY became precious. And I really lived. Kissing, hugging, playing . . knowing that my days have always been numbered and cancer, car accidents, nor anything else could not change that figure.
Time neared for Em to be born, and they sent me to a gynecological oncologist (say THAT five times fast). The dysplasia had worsened, and they thought the trauma of a vaginal delivery might cause the abnormal cells to spread. But he said it was safe to go ahead, and Em whooshed out in record time right on her due date.
A few months and two surgeries later I experienced a life threatening hemorrhage. Our next baby, Ben, got "trapped" at delivery because of scar tissue that locked my womb tight closed. Then our last two babies came way too early due to my now incompetent cervix (that term still makes me laugh . . "I'm trying. I really am. I . . just . . can't . . hold!"). Both boys were born with e. coli in their bloodstream and teetered on the brink for a few days. But their days were numbered too. And they were meant to be counted in years not days or weeks. We're still counting.
Does the fear of death keep us from fully living. Does the grasping at what we can't control, steal from us the abandon and freedom of each today?
Moses said, "Teach us to number our days, so we may gain a heart of wisdom." It sounds morbid, but sometimes I think we should count birthdays backwards. "One less day until . ." But there's something sobering AND freeing about living in full view of that truth. We're counting down!