Life is for Living

David, Janina, Thia, and Mike- August 2018.
First Thistle Dew Retreat

Life is for Living

This phrase means more to me now than ever before.

I adopted this phrase as a column I used to write for the Richfield Springs Mercury over a decade ago. The readership was small (about 1,000) but it was a community that had heart, just north of Cooperstown. They welcomed me and embraced me and loved the topics I discussed in that column, which would deal with the ins and outs of life.

Then, when I started this blog (which has gone through numerous reincarnations) I called it Life is for Living, with the idea of carrying over the focus of the column to digital readers.

Most recently I’ve named my WIP Life is for Living. It’s the second book in a trilogy I’m publishing through Soul Mate Publishers. More about that another time.

Today, Life is for Living is so much more poignant than ever before.

Today is the birthday of a friend who passed away from cancer over a year ago, pre- pandemic. She was a beautiful soul sister who I’d lost real contact with over the years. We did get to see each other about once a year, but all our plans to keep in touch and get together always faded with passing days. I miss her terribly.

A few days ago, a fellow CNYRW romance writer passed away after battling numerous health issues long and hard over the last year at least. I kept expecting her to get better. But she didn’t . I will miss her terribly, and like my other friend, there are so many regrets for not keeping in touch regularly.

We’ve spent the last year watching the world battle COVID-19. And while I’ve done my best to stay secluded and take care of myself and husband, life has gone on around us. And over time, COVID went from a world-wide pandemic to a disease that is laying low friends and relatives near and dear to me.

On top of this, the last month I have spent dealing with a diagnosis of cancer-Uterine Cancer. This is my third time battling the dreaded disease (three distinct unrelated types) and I struggled with my own mortality. But the prognosis was good, with the surgeon telling me he believed he got it all, and that I would not need chemo or radiation.

So how does this very sad topic of death earn a blog on a page that’s supposed to be happy and uplifting?

Because Life is for Living. It is inevitable we are going to lose loved ones eventually, so embrace their essence and the times you spend with them now, while they are alive.

We are going to get sick and eventually die. Rather than live in fear, make the most of every moment. Whether we are struggling with disease or healthy and fit­– don’t take one second for granted.

Share your passions. Create. Leave a legacy – not by being boastful, but by being who you are, by being someone people will miss when you go.

We live in frightening times. As the fatalities increase as COVID claims loved ones every day, be the candle of hope, the emotional, mental, and visual hug people need until we can physically hug one another again.

And one day soon we will be able to get together without the fear of infecting one another, and the sun will shine, and the skies will be blue, and we will sing in celebration of life.

So make a vow to walk on and embrace every single minute you are alive. Savor every meal, even if it’s cereal. Enjoy that book you keep putting down. Nap if you need to. Breathe the fresh air, listen for the birds, watch your favorite tv show. Call an old friend you’ve not spoken with in a while. Write a letter to someone you are thinking about. Send an email saying you’re thinking of them.

Let the promise of tomorrow carry you through the dark times, the sad times, the scary times.

And most of all remember that Life is For Living, so live it.

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