Guest Post By: Anonymous
Yesterday you said tomorrow.
A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with Cancer. The bad kind. The “10% of patients live to see another year kind”. The “I wish Google wasn’t around” kind. Suddenly my tomorrows became yesterday. The years of planning, hoping and dreaming all came to a screeching halt.
I was suddenly faced with the possibility that 25 years of aspiration and preparation would culminate with a few months of frantic activity - a summer of scratching off bucket list items and crossing off life’s to-do list. Over 9,000 times I had banked on the dependability of tomorrow. Now, I only had today.
Nothing can prepare you for the moment you find out you have a 1/10 chance of making it to Christmas. There’s finality to it. There’s weight. The need to spend as much time with your loved ones as possible fights a constant battle with the want to distance yourself and minimize the pain of good-bye. Days are spent alternating between silent sadness and frantic preparation. Nights are spent accepting fate and bargaining for more time. Clinging to the slim sliver of hope, I went about my daily business cherishing everything I could. Taking one today at a time.
Reflection became a huge part of my existence. I replayed my successes and failures, the proud choices and shameful mistakes, the sins I had committed and the mitzvahs I had performed. I tallied the accomplishments and missed opportunities. I wanted to leave in peace with myself - with who I was as a person. I couldn’t help but keep score. Would I be remembered? What was my legacy? Did I make an impact?
The unmistakable truth was that, while I was able to accept my overall contribution to the world, I kept thinking of the lost time. If I would have known I only had 25 years, how much more could I have accomplished? How many times would I have parked myself in front of the TV? How many fewer times would I have hit the snooze button? How many times had I used tomorrow to justify a lackluster today?
Carpe Diem went from cliché to mantra. It had never made more sense. I would give anything for the opportunity to seize the shit out of more days. But, the truth remained; I was about to pick a number from 1 to 10. Pick the wrong number and there is no second chance. No tomorrows.
I don’t know what I did to deserve it, but I received my second chance. I’ll make it to tomorrow and hopefully the next day. Maybe I still have something to offer the world, maybe I have a few stories to share. The one thing I know is that I’ll take my second chance. I’ll spend each today trying to justify a tomorrow, not the other way around.
What will you do tomorrow?