Thursday, December 20, 2007

Yes, You Have A Wonderful Life!

By the year 2030, the 65 and older population in the U.S. will be doubled, totaling about 72 million people. Sadly as we near the end of life, even then as well as now, too many of us will be unhappy and resentful because we didn’t, or couldn’t, fulfill our youthful dreams.

Well, think again. Even if we didn’t get that PhD, or earn millions of dollars, or sail around the world, we still did make a difference, a difference we should be proud of and celebrate.

Even as they approach the greatest adventure of all, the end of life, the dear friends that I care for in hospice often relive their lives and bring contentment to their last days by telling me their stories. Remembering their good times helps them, and me, celebrate who they had been and what they had achieved, re-living what it felt like to have a whole life waiting to be experienced and to have done the best they could.

Remember the 1946 Frank Capra movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life”? George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), feels that his life has been a failure. Then Clarence, an angel, showed George what would have happened to his family, friends, and his little town, Bedford Falls, if George hadn’t existed. It is only then that George understands how worthwhile his life really was. He is finally able to exclaim, “Yes, I really have a wonderful life!"

What is your story? Think about it: the little kindnesses you did, the moments when the best in you came out and changed other peoples’ lives, all the little gifts of love and attention given and received? Even in your darkest days, little candles were lit by you and others around you to prove that you indeed had – and are having – a wonderful life.

Pass this message on, and let me know how you continue to light the darkness in our world.

* * *

“How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.”
- Shakespeare: Merchant of Venice, Act 5, Scene 1

No comments: