We all have them, no matter how large, or how poorly hidden they are. Dinner with my father this evening started off on an odd topic, mortality. My dad has been reflecting on his life a lot lately. He said he is not getting any younger, and is starting to think about what can be done with the life he has left to live, what can and cannot be done. My father told me he doesn't have a lot of time here left. What is that suppose to mean? How do I take that? Yes, my father is getting up there in years, and I have never expected him to live to be that old, with the way he has treated his body. One of my father's favorite lines is "If I would have none that I would have grown to be this damn old, I'd have taken better care of myself." Does my dad know something I don't? Some finalized time line that he has left on earth? My dad said he has a lot of regrets, but the regrets that most haunt late in the night when dreams tear you apart. The things that he regrets the most are the things he didn't do, never got the chance, or never got the courage to go through with. He told me this to warn me, so I wouldn't have the same regrets. He, like most of us, wants to leave something behind, to mark that he did something, to mark that at least he was here. We all want some greater meaning to this life, we are all so scarred that our mortality means nothing. He started talking about politics and he would like to do something like that, but knows that he has too many skeletons buried in his past, that are waiting to be dug up. My dad paused after he said and looked at me and said, "You poor kid, how did you survive me all these years?" Love, is how I survived him, love was the only tie stronger enough to ease the years of built up anger frustration of growing up to quickly and having to become my own parent.
Life is precious no matter how much time we think we have left. Do one thing everyday that scares you. Take the risks you never thought you could, and do the things you don't think you have time for. Cherish your loved ones, live with as little regrets as possible, even if that means stepping out of your comfort zone. Talk to the person who might have your eye, step out on a limb and make the first move. Make a list of life's to-do's and actually follow through with them, check them off. Take the time to know what you want from love, and don't settle for any less. Appreciate what you have, and the family that surrounds you. Simply live and love with every ounce of who you are.