Occasionally Life throws us a curve ball and recently it threw one at our family. If you have ever seen a pitcher throw a great curve ball you will know that it can freeze a batter. The batter is forced to try and figure out what to do with it, to take a swing or let it pass and so it is in life sometimes. A couple of weeks ago my Mother-in-law passed away and it is funny how the passing of someone close to us gives us a time to pause and reflect. While the family continues to wrestle with the finality of not being able to pick up the phone and call her or plan another family vacation together there is also the attempt to put life into perspective. In the past I have talked about longevity of life, but this curve ball has me thinking that we need to have a qualifier on the longevity of life. While we would selfishly like to hang on to our loved ones as long as possible, the conversation of quality of life has to enter the equation at some point. By all accounts, my Mother-in-law lived a great life. She rasied eight incredible children who have all become very successful and were all present as her health turned. She was honored by her 18 grandchildren during the services and everyone made the trip from around the country to be there. Not only was she truly loved by her children and grandchildren but all of us inlaws as well. She also travelled right up to this spring.
I believe that we all have the desire for our lives to be the best that they can be and that life is about the quality of relationships that we create. At the end it is all about the relationships and the experiences we have shared together. So, if for no other reason than to be able to go and experience life with our families, we need to start making better decisions each day. We can choose to get more activity and eat better so that we have the energy to enjoy experiences with our family and friends. We can choose to minimize or eliminate the use of tobacco products. And we can choose to spend time with the ones we love because at the end, that is all that is going to matter and it is these experiences that can live on in our memories when someone we love passes.