“The only wisdom we can hope to acquire is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.” – T.S. Eliot
Driving alone late Monday night, north on a dark River Road that parallels the Delaware River, next to the canal I ran the Bucks County Marathon on only weeks ago, I questioned myself, Do I take my health for granted? I tell others not to, and I’ve written those words more than once, but Monday night I questioned my sincerity.
I was on my way home from dinner with friends. My one buddy has been going through chemo and radiation treatments for lung cancer. He’s an active, robust guy who lives life to the fullest. We hiked Hawk Mountain and the Delaware Water Gap earlier this year, and rode 90 miles to the Jersey Shore this past summer. I see him at least once each month, and have been amazed how well he’s been doing considering what he’s going through, until Monday night. His appetite was a shadow of what it had always been and he didn’t drink any wine, but when he stood and grabbed a cane I felt like someone hit me in the stomach with a two-by-four. Monday night he laughed, told stories and enjoyed himself. He’s tougher than I am.
I called him on Tuesday and told him I hated that he had to go through this crap to teach me a lesson, that he forced me face myself–to be honest with myself. And then I told him that this time next year we’ll look back and realize this was just a test. I believe that. I might not have control over the matter, but I have a choice about what I believe.
Nothing in life is guaranteed; tomorrow’s not a given. Don’t take your health for granted. I won’t ever again.