No…I’m not going anywhere. Not right now anyway. If anything, I’ve been around a lot more lately. Something has been pushing me to pick the keyboard back up and write more in the past two weeks than I have the past two months, and I’m glad for the incentive no matter where it is coming from.
Some of you who know me may think that I am a sentimental kind of guy, but I tend not to dwell too much on the past. My life has been geared forward since I was young as if my best days were ahead of me, and that drive has served me well. Much of my life has been spent thinking “I can’t wait to get to [enter life change here].” However, the last year has seen a bit of a change in that charging-forward attitude. My mortality has come into view a bit more clearly, and as a result, I have been contemplating what happens when we leave this existence we call life. In case you’re wondering, I don’t have any answers for you. It is safe to say that if I did, I wouldn’t be here to type up this post.
I want to tell you a little bit about my friend Ty, someone else who had a “forward” drive. Ty came into my life three years ago as my partner and I were first dating. While we had met once, it wasn’t until a rodeo in July of 2009 that we really got to connect. By the time that weekend was over, I felt like I had been adopted by an older sister. Unfortunately, four months later that newly acquired relative ended up in the hospital with a diagnosis of cancer so aggressive that we were told she only had months to live. Well, months became years, and despite multiple end-of-life predictions, Ty soldiered on. Everyone around her was in awe of the way that she continued to beat the odds. That is, until two weeks ago. I have been told that the passing was peaceful and on her own terms, and for that I am grateful.
People outside of Ty’s inner circle think that she showed a lot of courage in the face of her prognosis, but sadly I know otherwise. She was terrified, as I think most of us would be. So terrified that she never allowed herself to know how serious her diagnosis was until near the end because she wanted to stay positive and fight. However well-intentioned this thinking was, there is no denying that all of us have an expiration date. Unless you die instantaneously in a freak circumstance, you will have to at least think about coming to terms with the inevitable. Please don’t think I am criticizing, because the strength that Ty showed throughout the past three years was amazing and awe-inspiring. In a perfect world, someone would show that strength while confronting their mortality, but what works for one person doesn’t for another and I am not here to judge the decisions that someone facing the end makes.
All of this has made me wonder how I will handle myself when my time arrives. Not only for myself, but also those I love. And then I came across a review of the new single by Country duo Joey + Rory, and I lost it. You are going to need a tissue box for this video. Don’t try to be tough…just give in to the suggestion.
“Just give it time
We’ll both be fine
When I’m gone”
I have no doubt my friend is fine now. Better than fine, even. No suffering, no worries, no doubt. I wish I could say the same about those of us she left behind, but we’ll get there. Eventually we all get there. The only consolation I have in all of this is the time I got to spend with Ty. While it may be cliched to say, my life is a better place for having known her.