Don’t Take Your Health for Granted

“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.


About Jim Brennan

Jim is a Philadelphia-based writer, author, poet and editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
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2 Responses to Don’t Take Your Health for Granted

  1. First of all, I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. That’s such a horrible scenario, I hope the treatment is working for him! I think we are all guilty of taking for granted the many things we have in life that are good – we just don’t know what we have until it’s gone. I think your post is very pertinent and well put. Let’s be aware of what we have and more importantly, let’s be grateful for it!


    • Jim Brennan says:

      I’m with you on this one, fullmoonrunner. I think for most of us it’s our human nature to go about our day-to-day routine without giving a thought about how fortunate we are to simply get out of bed in the morning and do the things we do. Sometimes it’s good to stop, think about it, and be thankful.


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