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Thursday, March 3, 2016

News of Beginnings and Endings

At one end of the 3rd floor is maternity; at the other end is the hospice unit. Between them a short hallway, the dash between birth and death. Life.

The maternity unit is most often filled with wonderful news, with hope, with the anticipation of a life to be lived, of dreams to be developed, of potential to be realized. 

The hospice floor is a place of endings, of letting go, of saying goodbye, of memories of a life lived, of sad news. 

Between them is life, where dreams are realized or lost, where love is found and lost and found again, where families are built, where memories are made. 

I read a book recently about a man who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in his late thirties, a brilliant surgeon with a bright future. As he adjusted to his diagnosis, to chemo, to the loss of dreams, to the loss of the life he and his wife had planned, his oncologist challenged him to determine what he valued and to expend his energy, the energy and time he had remaining on what he valued.

If I was given the news I had 10 years or 5 years or 3 years or 6 months or 3 months to live, where would I want to expend my energy and time? What would I want to do? Who would I want to be with? What legacy would I want to leave behind? 

The man in the book chose to finish his residency, create a daughter with his wife, write the book I read, and love his family and friends. The journey for each of us will be different. Identifying what we value, where we want to spend our remaining energy and time is a deeply personal process. 

I haven't received news about how much longer I have to live, still I want to live a life of meaning, of focus, of value. I want to leave a legacy that matters. Pondering these questions, determining values, is an important part of the journey to leaving a legacy that matters. 



8 comments:

  1. This is beautiful. You inspire me to live a life of meaning, as well. Thank you for this. Leaving a legacy that matters is important. I'm so glad I am following you at FMF this week. Love your words on NEWS!! Bless you.

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    1. Hi Julie, thank you! I'm glad you stopped by too!

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  2. Wow, Darlene, this really resonates. My doctor uses terms like, "circling the drain", and each time I see him he makes it clear I'm past my sell-by date.

    For what it's worth, there's nothing I can choose to concentrate on. There's just the daily routine, and it's up to me to find meaning in it.

    #1 at FMF

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/03/your-dying-spouse-126-my-rock-and-roll.html

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    1. I have to scamper off of here when I finish typing these words, but I am touched by your comment . . . and curious. What helps you to find meaning in the daily routine?

      Blessings and wishing you a much longer shelf-life than the doctors predict.

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  3. This is really beautiful writing. I love the opening paradox of maternity and hospice on the same floor.

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    1. Thank you, Denise. The paradox is the reality of the unit where I currently work at a hospital. I think often of that short hallway and the dash called life. Thanks for stopping in!!

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  4. Florence DeVaughn-ZeimMarch 4, 2016 at 6:13 PM

    At my age, a legacy is on my mind. I hope it will have spiritual background, so my children and grandchildren will know my love for my Lord and Savior. Thank you for the wondrous words and thoughts. Maybe you should write a book?

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    1. Thanks, Florence. Nice to hear from you. I do have plans for a book and also to focus on living a meaningful life and leaving a legacy in my blog. I would love to have you continue to stop in here!

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