I was talking with a friend about cancer, how it may take her life. It reminded me of my grandfather who’s life was taken by cancer. It’s… not a fun subject.
But I got to thinking about what exactly that means, “take a life”. Because, the more I think about that friend, the more I realize, that phrase does not mean what I think it means.
Life is so much more than a breath or a heart beat. It’s the culmination of all things experienced, affected, impacted, touched and shared from the moment you came into existence until… infinity.
You probably thought I was going to say until the day you die, didn’t you? But your life doesn’t end there, does it? Do people suddenly forget who you are? Do they suddenly forget the times you had together? Do people who learned something new from you suddenly unlearn it? Do they ever stop missing you?
Life isn’t breathing, it’s being.
Your first kiss, your first point in sports, your first risk, your first love, the first smile on your parents face when they see the pregnancy test results, the heartaches, the successes… all of it. And not just for you but for those all around you. Those who shared in those smiles, the person you kissed and all those lives that were enriched just by you being a part of it.
Yes, your future, the things you have yet to do can be taken from you. But that’s not your life either. That’s a bucket list. And it is tragic. I can not lie. But it can not, in any way, diminish the life you’ve lived nor the life that will continue to live on in others, in time and in space by you having existed and hopefully, being the best you that you can be.
Think of the butterfly effect. The theory that, if you go back far enough in time and kill a butterfly, that it could spark a chain reaction through time through cause and effect that completely and totally changes the way things are now.
That’s fine for the past. But today, right now, you are that butterfly. And your life, you, you have affected all there will ever be for the future.
Your breath and your heart beat can be taken from you. But your life can not.
Don’t ever let the thought of your life being taken away from you get you down.
Because so long as your life has been, it will always be.
And that makes you pretty spectacular.
So live your life, while you can and do all that you can with it. Because no one and no thing can ever take that away.
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