Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Bucket List

Today I caught up with a lady who statistically speaking is going to be dead in 90 days.

You can go ahead and thank pancreatic cancer for that one.

An angel of a Grandmother, this woman was diagnosed a few months back, basically handed a death sentence of a contract from a man in a lab coat and cordially asked to sign her life away at the bottom. Yeah, I know, that's a lousy way to kick off the holiday season.

But rather than wallow away in hopeless agony, she has decided to take the higher road, the road very much less traveled, and enjoy the last few days that she has on this earth in absolute delight; meeting up with long lost family members, renewing vows with her spouse, even a road trip here and there to knock out her bucket list with a bang.

Now that's a lady on death row with her head on straight, I'll tell you what.

Perhaps it's this time of year that conjures up memories with the grim reaper, combined with the fact that everyone annually feels a false sense of personal renewal once the ball drops in NYC, but either way, I wondered what is on my bucket list, what are my terminal priorities, what do I want to have accomplished whenever it's my turn to be knockin' on heaven's door?

I think we all have those benchmark items, "write a book", "run a marathon", "visit the Grand Canyon", commonplace triumphs that would give us an inner sense of validation. And sadly, I still haven't seen that giant trench of a canyon that Paul Bunyan supposedly made as he dragged his axe across the West, despite the fact that it’s only 145 miles away from my house. I'll get to it sooner or later, I'm sure.

Honestly though, I'm not quite sure what Bucket List items I have in stock that I would like to have checked off before the end of my days. But then again, what about yourself, dear reader? Do you have some theoretical list of last minute accomplishments put together of what you would like to have done before you die? A list that you could gaze upon and say with a content smile slapped on your face, "I. I am a great person. See what I have done."

For the record, hindsight is sadly the one direction in life that the majority of us look.

At the moment I couldn’t tell you what is on my true bucket list. I do think that I have done quite a lot in my life. More than your average grumpy bear completes in 27 years. But I certainly do wish for more, and I think that we all should. I would like to learn another language, complete my doctorate, and see the final seasons of Community, Dexter, and How I Met Your Mother. And who knows, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to have finally found that girl with the yellow umbrella that can share all of this stuff with me, but hey, that’s all in good time.

The point of this post is that every single day 7,000 Americans wake up for the last time in their life. 7,000 American people open their eyes in the morning, only to have them ultimately closed by the time the sun goes down. Every single day, 7,000 people that are basically you, and me, and everyone else around this fine country, don’t get the chance to cross any more items off of their bucket lists, whether they had one or not.

As for me, whether or not I’m alive in three months or 30 years, I’m going to do my best to cross off as much as I can.

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Love it! You're the best there is Mr. Brock Bybee!