Sunday, March 4, 2012

Every situation can be seen in a positive light or a negative one, the glass can be half full or half empty, clichés abound in the area of pessimism and optimism. Which is it for each of us? How do we really choose to live our lives? What REALLY matters? I feel like I have learned so much from Autumn, from her life experience and how she has reacted to some of the most difficult aspects of cancer. I have also learned so much from how others have treated her and how there has been so much love and support from strangers. It makes me wonderfully happy to think that we all care that much about each other, even when we don’t often show it. It often takes tragedy to bring out the best in us.

There is a concept known as “survivor guilt” which exists on another level of emotions. After Lexi’s death, I realized how real this concept is for those who did not have to grieve that awful reality. There is a group forming for some of the parents in this situation to talk to one another along with a social worker who is trained and can help guide each family along this new path. It seems as though once you are “on the other side”, you would feel fabulous all the time, but I have to admit, there is a strange sensation that lingers, however happy I am. I am curious to know how others feel.

We have a short time here. One can consider himself lucky to see his grandkids, let alone the following generation. “How old are those people?” Autumn asked me this morning, while gazing at a photo of a young couple hanging on the wall above my computer. “Well, those two people aren’t alive anymore, they would be about 150 years old today and no one lives that long.” I said. “Really?!? No one, not anyone on this planet lives that long?” she asked, almost frustrated. As I took a long hard look at the picture of my great-great-grandparents, I thought briefly about the life they led in Turkey so many years ago. What was that like? What did they think of all the generations that would someday proceed them? Maybe they were just happy and in love, I hope so anyway.

As it turns out, supercentenarians are not very common, but if you ever see a photo of one, they always appear to be smiling! The oldest woman may be a French lady born 122 years ago, hard to imagine what she has seen in her lifetime. If one could be offered a full life, a healthy life, then we may all chose this length because why not! Imagine what someone today would see between now and 2112…lots of possibilities!

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