Someday maybe I'll have one of those fancy ipod alarm clocks. For now, I have one of those clock radios that gets lousy reception and is set to any random station that works. This morning I woke up listening to these lyrics: "I Hope You Dance."
Ironic, because this was the third time I'd pushed snooze, and I rarely do that. But I didn't sleep well, and had a nice pity party, refreshments included, at 1 a.m. Today is the third anniversary of my twin sister's death from breast cancer. Please forgive a personal and somewhat religious aside (I am Mormon, and yes, I am Christian) but I felt it when my sister left this earth. I believe her spirit still exists, and I will see Rosalie again. Because of my beliefs, I an fine today. I have hope. I am, however, in a pondering mood.
Last night my husband told our family about a nurse who talked to patients about to die. Many had regrets, such as wishing they'd spent more time with loved ones. One regret frequently expressed was, "I wish I'd let myself be happier."
Life is fleeting. Our circumstances can change at any moment. So my challenge to myself, and to you, is to not let the happy moments pass us by. So what if the dishes aren't done or you have a writing deadline you haven't met? Don't let little things derail you. Go hug that person you love. Frost those Halloween sugar cookies and share them.
It's easy to give advice and hard to follow it. Although I know we can never be sure how much time we have left, I still struggle to" let myself be happy." However, I believe one way we learn to dance through our lives, rather than drag long-faced across the desert we create from our worries, is through little acts of kindness and love. One phone call, one hug, one remembrance.
Thank you, Rosalie, for being my sister and best friend for so many years.
And all of you who are women, it's breast cancer awareness month, and always strikes me as ironic that she died from that disease in October. Her diagnosis came too late for treatment. I believe many places still offer free mammograms all month. If you're forty, go get one.