Living Long ... Living Well
The grandson did this religiously and he lived to the age of 93. When he died, he left 14 children, 28 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren and a fifteen foot hole in the wall of the crematorium.
He definitely went out with a bang. But personally, I would rather remember somebody for how beautifully she lived her life than how spectacularly she left it. And I would definitely prefer she leave a hole in my heart, if necessary, than a hole in the crematorium.
Besides, it has never been about how long we will last, but about how well we will live. I like what Queen Margarethe II of Denmark once said: "I have always had a dread of becoming a passenger in life." I, too, want more from my life than to simply go along for the ride. I want to live well. I want my life to count for something. I want it to be full and worthwhile.
Dave Dravecky, former pitcher for the San Francisco Giants baseball team, learned a lesson about living fully and well.
Dave enjoyed an outstanding sports career until the day he was diagnosed with soft tissue cancer in his left arm. The disease ended his professional baseball career. After various treatments failed to stop the growth, doctors advised Dave to have his arm amputated.
Some people may feel that a diagnosis of cancer, the loss of a career and the amputation of a limb may as well be a death sentence. Of course, many survivors know better. Dave, too, learned that his life was far from over.
When his little daughter Tiffany first saw her father after surgery, she went straight to him and hugged him long and hard. Then she smiled and announced that she was happy his left arm was gone. She explained that over the last few weeks, the arm had caused her father so much pain that he hadn't been able to hug her. With the arm out of the way, they would be close again.
Dave Dravecky will never be the baseball star he had hoped to become. He lost his arm and may always wonder if cancer will return. Maybe he will still live a long life, but regardless of how long Dave lives, it matters far more how well he lives.
He only has to hug Tiffany close, very close, to be reminded what a full life is all about.