I am surprised I have never shared this story before, with anyone. What better way to do so then share with all of my readers, friends and family at once. This is a quick story on how one person’s advice changed my complete path of thinking.
Unfortunately my family is no stranger to loss. We have, as a family, lost a lot of loved ones. However, I commend everyone in my family for staying such a strong unit through difficult times and I can always count on their love and support. Over the years, as young girl, I developed a very strong constitution. I knew what it was like to lose a loved one, so therefore the old adage, “Live each day as it was your last” was my personal mantra. I cherished friends, family, memories and wonderful moments differently then most teenagers.
When you live your life as each day is your last, you do get more out of life. You appreciate what is going on because you yourself know that our time on earth does not last forever. However, this ideal all changed one day at school.
One of the older girls at my school had cancer. I felt for her, as she lost her sandy brown hair. She lost a lot of weight and our school was extremely sympathetic and supportive. She became known for her fashionable headbands and scarves, and I think inspired some of the other girls to do the same. She was sick and getting sicker. She was not able to go to the movies or do regular teenage things. Her life was coming to an abrupt halt before it began. Doctors were concerned that she would not live the rest of the year. Her concern was only to graduate high school with her class.
I had escaped an evil biology class by asking to go to the washroom. My teacher was monotone and needless to say, I needed a break. Meekly asking to go to the washroom, I took some time to wander the halls and look for friends. However, who knew that this sneaky exit from class would lead to one of my biggest life lessons.
I bumped into this older girl. She smiled and I complimented her beautiful headscarf. She told me a friend gave it to her from the middle east. The detail of the scarf was incredible. We began to talk about my escape from biology, and we laughed. We talked about her graduation, as it was a few weeks away. Then she spoke openly about her cancer. Everyone was telling her to enjoy life, but she told me she wanted to but was so tired all the time. She wanted to go out and date and enjoy herself like any other teen, but was too exhausted. Her body was skinny and she looked tired, however a radiance beamed off of her.
She then proceeded to say that people advise her to live every day as her last, so you enjoy each day more. I agreed and said that was one of the quotes I lived by. Did she feel the same way?
“Oh no,” she answered, “I live each day as my first, with awe and wonder, like a baby. I am curious and taken back by everything around me and I am in love with every new inspirational idea. I definitely live every day like it was my first day on earth.” Wow. I was floored. I snuck out of biology to chat with friends and I end up getting one of the biggest life lessons. We spoke briefly for a bit more and then she headed home and I went back to class. Needless to say, I felt my mantra change to the tune of what this older student had said.
She never made it to graduation. She died during their graduation breakfast, right before the ceremony later that evening. Her name was called with her graduating class, along with weeping students. She had indeed finished high school but did not get to see the cap and gowns of her friends. However, her words of how to live life were embedded into our year book.
I can clearly say that to live each day as my first has been my new mantra. I believe it brings a peace within you that there is always something new to learn each day. This positivity keeps you young, it keeps you learning, and helps find ways to keep you happy. So please, take the advice of this young girl I met, who was shy of 18 years old but had the wisdom of someone four times her age; live each day as your first, with awe and wonder. Stay curious and inspired by everything around you.” This advice will definitely help you stay in love with life.