This morning I learned that one of my childhood friends is in the hospital with kidney failure and advanced cancer. I am devastated. She is smart as a whip, one of the most generous individuals I have ever known, and a truly decent person. But now she's on the edge of That Precipice, and one of my thoughts is that her birthday is only 2 days from mine, and that this could well have been me.
I cry for her because her life is being cut short but perhaps also because I have learned that life isn't fair and she's getting the short straw through no fault of her own.
Were that there were something one could do to earn life. Were one to eat organic, exercise religiously, and try to save the earth, would one be entitled to a greater number of moments on this planet? My narcissistic 96-year-old mother, who lives on scotch and cigarettes, would say no. My grandfather, who died at 95 and credited his long life to self discipline would say yes. His sisters, who did not espouse the same philosophy yet also lived into their nineties would just laugh at the thought.
Almost every day I ask myself how much time I have left. Will it be one more day? A week? A month? A year? More? Not knowing is agonising. Were I to know, perhaps I could plan. Perhaps I would really, really be able to enjoy what I have now. Perhaps I could really, really appreciate the birth of that fabulously beautiful amaryllis on my kitchen counter.
And hard as I try to learn that lesson so that I might enjoy life in the moment as if it were my last, I still ....