Terrified, shivering, my face as white as a sheet and bored beyond belief as I stare at the same spot on the same ceiling for the sixth day straight. This is me six years ago in a hospital bed. At only eight years of age, I had a life changing moment. It hit me like a rock and shattered the cob webs in my brain of what life was all about. It was six years ago that I was diagnosed with the life threatening disease of Escheria Coli 0157.
E. coli is a bacterium transferred from unsanitary or uncooked food products. E. coli infection can lead to death and or kidney failure. As I lay awake in my hospital bed, these possibilities were circling in my mind. What haunted me was the realization that my life could be over. Questions popped into my head such as what have I even done with my life? Would I be happy if it were to end right now? Is there anyone who I still need to hold and tell them “I love you”? These were the questions that changed my life forever.
I still thank God everyday for saving me. I was one of the lucky ones. I am a survivor. As I walked out of that hospital on that seventh day, 25 pounds lighter than I came in, I set out on a mission. My mission of living up everyday as if it was my very last.
Life is precious. Minutes, hours, seconds fly by faster than anyone realizes. Every single day is a miracle. You can’t get anything back. As depressing as it is, life can end in the blink of an eye. If you were to take your last look at the Earth, your last look at the people surrounding you, and know that this is the last time you are to see them, would you be satisfied with your work? Have you touched the people around you? What have you left behind? Have you told your close ones you love them? Are you able to honestly look at yourself in the mirror and say “You know what, my time is done but I am okay with that because I have lived my life to the fullest.”
This, I believe; live every day, every moment as if it was your last. Do not take a single breath of air for granted. Love with all of your heart. Never leave any doubt of what could have been or what should have been. Surround yourself with ones who love you. And love them back with all your heart. Laugh so obnoxiously loud that your stomach aches and your eyes tear up. Love someone so much it hurts. Say what you need to say. Stand up for what you believe. The last but most important is never ever even consider living your life like tomorrow is a guarantee.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.