I watched with interest last night as Diane Sawyer interviewed Randy Pausch. He's the college professor who has Pancreatic Cancer, a wife and three small children. He initially was given 3 to 6 months of quality life. He has written a book titled appropriately, since he's a teacher, 'The Last Lecture'.
What did he do with this information? Did he go home, crawl into bed and begin to feel sorry for himself? Sure he had his moments, but he went home to live out his last days the very best he could. His theory is you can't control the cards you're dealt, just how you play the hand."
He has a lecture online that I'm going to find and watch. They played excerpts last night, and talked one-on-one with him and his wife, but I think it's very important to listen to the entire video he made.
We are all faced with adversity, but this man is facing it with the utmost grace and dignity. He is very aware of what is happening to him, but is choosing to make it the best time of his life along with that of his family.
He talked about his doctor asking if he were depressed. He told the Dr that for a healthy person, he probably was depressed, but for a man with a terminal disease, he thought he was doing very well. The Dr agreed.
I could identify with a lot of the things he said. Five years ago, I was given a probable death sentence. I was told without surgery, I would die, and probably wouldn't make it through surgery. I then had six weeks to get ready. The first couple of weeks, I was in a lot of pain, but after that time, I didn't feel like anything was wrong. I just wasn't allowed to do anything, and couldn't get excited about anything.
Each time I went in to see the surgeon, he was surprised that I was still alive. And it seemed to irk him that I was not only alive, I was laughing and joking. He kept telling me I was in denial. I finally explained to him that I knew what my chances were. I was doing everything he was telling me to do, but I saw no reason to sit around and moan and complain.
Instead, I made dresses for my dauguter#2's baby who I would have never seen had I not made it through this time. She was born two months after I went through all this. And I have three more grandchildren that I would have never known.
At times this Dr was quite a gloomy gus, but it just isn't my nature to be down on a regular basis. Oh sure, I have a pitty party occasionally, but I made it through that surgery, didn't have to have any treatments, and even though he promised me it would be back in 5 years, I haven't seen hide nor hair it. Now when I run into this Dr, he treats me like an old friend. I think he feels I'm one of his success stories, a tribute to his ability. I just think I'm a strong, lucky person. And I give God and prayer most of the credit.
I'm in no way comparing myself to what Randy Pausch is going through. But I saw some of the same traits in myself that he exhibits. He is quite a testament to the human spirit. It would be wonderful if more of us lived each day like it would be out last on earth(We had a sermon on that very subject a few weeks ago). As the later interviews showed, he isn't as energetic as in the first, he's already lived past the time expected, but he pushes on.
If you haven't seen or heard of this man, there is a video of his lecture on the web somewhere, probably on U-Tube. Find it and watch it. I haven't seen all of it, but what I saw, made a huge impression on me. And I intend to find it and listen to the entire lecture.
My question for today is: Are you a Tigger, or an Eeyore? I hope we are all Tiggers and continue to bounce our way through life.
Have a happy Wednesday. Do something silly. Make someone laugh.