This I Believe

Ralph - Penfield, New York
Entered on May 8, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: purpose
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That devoting your life to exactly who and what you want is the most difficult… and meaningful… decision you will face.

Eleven years ago I was diagnosed with Hairy Cell Leukemia. As cancers go,

the docs said, this is a mild one. Then, on the other hand, they told me that if I hadn’t presented when I did I might not be alive to write this for you.

That diagnosis, and 14 days in a hospital bed with a mild poison coursing through my veins, gave me lots of time to think. What I thought about most was the troubling question, ‘Who and what are most important to me?’

The answer took about 5 years to formulate.

Once formulated, I sold my practice, truncated most of my community involvement and began the journey to meaning. I did exactly what I always wanted to do: I sold custom-made clothing. I stayed home nights and weekends

so I could spend maximum time with my wife, Luanne. I took great interest and involvement in the lives of my family and friends. I never looked back.

Today I am a small business. I help older folks and families do those tasks which they cannot do themselves. I don’t make a lot of money. But every day is full and fun and interesting and rewarding.

Can you figure out what matters most for you?

I hope you can.