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Life is a long quiet river, but not every day...


old bob

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Today, April 6, 2013, I'm living the 30’562nd day of my life.

 

Let us forget the first years, of which besides I have no more memories. If I try to return back enough and retrieve the little boy that I was then, the first image that I remember clearly - I was about 3 years old -, is as follows: I was sitting on a stair step in the house of my grandparents in Germany with a large hammer in my hand and I was beating aggressively on a peg to consolidate a small bench. I already showed the first signs of my instinct of future 'constructor' and 'undertaker'. I affirmed already my desire to prove my independence.

 

In my mind, the 29'000 days that followed succeeded at a frantic pace. I refer those who are interested to the story of my life (see 'Memoirs of a child of the past century').

 

But back to today. Like yesterday, I still have my life ahead of me. If I can trust the statistics of life expectancy, I still have 6-8 years to live. The main thing is to know what to make of those years. The choice is wide : to love, to enjoy life, to be useful to others, to improve ma knowledge, to fight to stay healthy, to be prepared to death ? To choose becomes more and more difficult the more we advance in age, I should be able to step back, to take greater account of the long-term instead of living day by day. That's not easy...

 

This morning, I decided to make an effort to look ahead instead of getting lost in my memories. According to my doctor, my cancer progression is slow, slow enough to let me tranquil till I die. So this is not a concern for me, since I'm going to win this race.

 

Living is to fight again and again, for, as Rudyard Kipling said, "to become a man". I know, this author is now long forgotten, but perhaps you will remember one of his poems that have marked my youth: "If..”.

 

Here are some excerpts:

 

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you.

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting.

Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

……….

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings -nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute,

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run.

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And -which is more- you'll be a Man, my son !

 

Could you ?

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I often find myself looking at the past instead of the future, too. I think actually it was you who told me to stop doing that, because we always remember the past to be better than it actually is.... Or maybe I read it somewhere, who knows. Either way, no one knows exactly how long they have to live, or how many years they have left. I say just live in the present, with the mindset that you'll never die, but seize each day as if it's your last.

 

And I am also sorry to hear about your cancer. :/

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I have found as I age that many times I have to drag my mind from the moments of the past and live in the present.  Sometimes I think it is because everyday we live it is a step closer to death.  I am one of those that hates to think of death, leaving loved ones, worrying about their well being and if my spouse is still alive making their enduring time better even after.  How do you do that?  We can't.  Death is an exit that once we make it, we have no control in the development of the ones left behind.  So that being said, I admire your strength and hope you continue your writing which I am enjoying so much.

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