So I'm thinking that, after much reflection, I should basically just be taking ALL of the Last Lecture to heart. I plan on watching the ABC Special tonight (10/9 central), and then maybe I'll go out and buy the book.
I'm not really sure why his death struck such a big chord with me. Maybe it has to do with the fact that he never made eventual death sound like a good thing. It has always bothered me to see people resign themselves to death, or try to pretend it didn't bother them. Rage, rage against the dying of the light, or whatever. You never saw him sitting there, smiling about the fact that he's a goner. He wasn't saying that he was going to a better place, Don't Cry For Me Argentina, etc.
He was visually upset at the idea that he was going to have to leave this all behind. BUT, and that's a big but, he didn't dwell on the suckitude. That's big for me. He just made it clear that he was going to miss living, because there are so many opportunities with Life, and it probably really bugged him that people were out there wasting those opportunities. That seemed to be what the lecture was about.
Or maybe I'm putting words in his mouth. I know it would bug me to see a bunch of people wasting life when I knew my time was almost up, so I guess I'm projecting that. Armchair Psych 101. At any rate, whether it bugs him or not, I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to start trying harder to make Life about not missing the opportunities I am given to achieve my goals.
E-'s cousin is in the Olympics this year. It amazed me when his mom told me that Lindsey had always said she wanted to be in the Olympics. I bet that every single one of those runners said the same thing growing up. "I'm going to be an Olympian". I think maybe that's almost a prerequisite. You've got to dream it first. You've got to want it. You've got to ask for it.
And so I've had to think about it. What are my goals? What exactly am I asking for? I used to print these big banners out of our home computer when I was 7 or 8 that said, "Renee - First Woman President". It's not a terrible goal, but it was short lived, and it's entirely possible that the content was obsolete, and I just made so many banners because I liked playing with the color schemes.
I've also wanted to be a lawyer, an author, an illustrator, an archaeologist, a teacher, a professor, an editor, a record store owner, a producer, a filmmaker, a script girl, a costume designer, a publisher, a publicist, a candymaker, an ice-cream tester, a game-show writer, a Disney employee, a baker, a card shark, and an advice columnist, and that was only my junior year of high school. Thing is, I've always wanted to do a little bit of everything. I could never settle on one thing to go out and Be.
Except for Mom. I've always, ALWAYS wanted to be one terrific mom.
I have two beautiful children, it's up to me to make them know, beyond any doubt, how much I've wanted it. There is no time for feeling sorry for myself. There is no time for mourning my inevitable death. I can't sit around preparing myself to die, and I can't let brick walls, or hurdles, or whatever you want to call them, keep me from doing the best I can do to be the best I can be. I've got to live in a way that shows everyone how much I want the opportunity to love my family and be the best person to raise them up to be wonderful people, ready to love life and unafraid of dreaming. Unafraid of coming up with long lists of things to achieve, and unafraid of not getting to all of them, as long as you're continuing to try for Something. Anything. Just don't stop dreaming. And to teach my kids that when the opportunities arise, you've got to grab with both hands and make those opportunities work for your dreams, whichever one you might be wanting most at the moment.
Right now, I'm going to go give my babies some kisses, because they are a walking opportunity to keep going forward, to never give up, to fulfill my dreams.