Saturday, April 05, 2014

A Call To Make The Days Count

In most cases death comes slowly so there is time to prepare; weakness, sickness, diagnosis, downhill slide and death.  In most cases there is time to prepare; but not in all. 

Keith and Anne rent a house from me.  Anne has been feeling sick as of late but wasn’t sure if it was diet, a cold or just a phase she was passing through.  She even saw a doctor without diagnosis some weeks ago.  This past weekend she was in bed and asked Keith to bring her Tablet to her so that she had something to do.  He climbed the stairs to her room bringing her the computer.  Within minutes her eyes rolled back into her head and she was gone. 

I remembered Tricia Lott Williford and the story she’s lived;

“I can't... I can't... I can't.... slow down. I can't slow down.... my... breathing.... I can't..."  
"Oh, God. Oh, God. I'll call 9-1-1. I'm calling 9-1-1, baby. It's okay. It's okay."
I speed dialed my mom: "Mom. I'm calling 9-1-1. Come for the boys. Hurry."
I dialed 9-1-1.  
"9-1-1. What is your emergency?" 
I scrambled through my dresser drawers, throwing on clothes as I spoke. "My husband. My husband. He has Influenza A, and he cannot breathe. Please send help. Please send help. Please help me."
 "Of course, Ma'am. What is your address?" 
As I told her, I saw him fall off the bed into a heap on the floor. I screamed to him. I screamed to her. I screamed. "Please! Please help me! He's not conscious! Please help me now!!"
Once in a while, a rare great while, comes the sickness and the diagnosis—and the praise, “The chemo is doing what it’s supposed to do, praise God.”  These are the words of my friend Forrest whose battle with cancer is proceeding positively. 

We live our lives trusting the actuaries and banking on a good gene pool that’ll give us 77 or 82 years.  My wife made me promise I’d give her thirty years of marriage before I hit the actuarial timetable.  One doesn’t want to be a downer but it’s good to think on these things.  Solomon said, “It’s good to enter a house of mourning for that is the end of every man and it causes the living to take notice.”  News of Keith and Anne feels like that kind of call.  A call to make the days count and to ‘live life loud.’  For it’s not so much about preparing for death as it is about living for life.

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