90 days to live
Our neighbor Tom is dying, of lung cancer. He has been battling it for a few years now, but apparently the doctors have told him that he has just about 3 months to live.
Three months, 90 days, approximately 2160 hours
I don’t know Tom very well, just the occasional hello when we pass each other on the street or the wave out when he sometimes sits out on his porch, taking in a beautiful day, or mowing his lawn on his tractor mower. But I still feel some kind of empathy, some sense of loss, to know that he will be gone, in about three months.
Tom is an old war veteran, who seems to have lived a full life, has now the company of his devoted wife, son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren around him, and generally seems content with life. It seems like he is ready, now that his time has come. But I don’t know him, it’s just my presumption.
His wife, Pat, comes over to chat with us sometimes, and her eyes moist over when she speaks about Tom’s hardships and the treatment that he is undergoing, which is currently failing him. They have been married about 50 odd years, and seem to have taken in the highs and the low’s that life throws at you with graceful equanimity.
Every morning, when I leave for work, I look across at Tom’s porch. Sometimes he is seated on their porch bench, reading his paper, and sometimes it’s vacant.
And sometimes I wonder…
What would it be like to know that you had finite number of days to live? In a sense, all of us know that we have finite number of days to live. Despite that, do we choose to live any differently?
What would matter most in life? What wouldn’t matter the most?
Just as some chemical reactions initiated us into existence, some other reactions will dismiss us into oblivion. A life time of memories, now gone. And that’s that.
What will run through my mind when the very last moments of life desert me?
When faced with 90 days to spend the rest your life, as you see fit, what choices would you make? Who would you choose to be with or not to be with? Places you might like to visit, sights to see, sounds to hear and food to taste?
90 days. To reminiscence, the choices of a lifetime.
We shall miss the presence of that elderly gentleman, when we look across our yard, at a bench on the porch, now empty. In approximately 90 days.