Sunday, August 10, 2008

Attitude adjustment

It's Sunday night, when my thoughts are usually consumed with the next day being Monday and how many days it is until Saturday.

However, this Sunday night, I'm trying to think differently.

By my calculations, I've been on the planet close to 21,000 days. No telling how many I have left, but I'll be fortunate to get 7,000 or 8,000 more in decent health. Do I really want to waste any of them wishing my way to Saturday?

This Sunday night, I'm remembering a day near the end of my father's life. He was in the hospital with pneumonia and had spent the night in intensive care, breathing through a tube, with assorted pharmaceuticals being pumped into his veins. His body terribly disfigured by osteoporosis - "severe thoracic deformity" was listed on the death certificate as a contributing factor - he was in constant pain, had been unable to get in and out of bed, get dressed, even roll over in bed unassisted, for years. Not the way any of us would wish to live what days we have remaining.

That morning, I was in his room as a nurse arrived to awaken him, assess that his breathing was enough better to remove the tube, shift his position in the bed a bit and discuss the possibility of moving him to a regular room. After she left, he looked at me and declared matter-of-factly, even hopefully, "Well, I'm ready to greet the day."

He ultimately only had two more days to greet, but even critically ill and in great discomfort, he did it with far more grace than I.

So it's Sunday night. Tomorrow is Monday. Six days until Saturday. Six whole days to cherish rather than whine, and accomplish something.

No time to waste.

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