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Old 09-30-2002, 06:52 AM   #1
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Smell The Flowers While You Can...

My dad's cousin recently died from Lou Gehrig's disease. I just found this essay he wrote before he died posted in my family's Yahoo! Group, and I wanted to share it with you all.


The following is an email letter written by Mike to a printer's list server, which inspired and was published as part of an article by Mike Stevens in the May 2001 issue of Quick Printing magazine:

I would like to offer a few thoughts and observations, which I hope, might stimulate a little personal introspection and maybe benefit someone.

As a little background, I have ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease, which was diagnosed in September, 1999 and I probably only have a couple of months left to live. Until that day, a year-and-a-half ago when I was given my death sentence, my I was very much like many of you here on the list server: You know, this sort of thing only happens to other people, not someone like me!

I was a 51-year-old print shop owner happily married with two adult children living and enjoying a very ordinary life. My day-to-day issues were the same or we read here all the time—what equipment to purchase, how to solve this printing problem, PITA customers, rush jobs and long hours, etc....

Life, like many things, has two primary dimensions—quality and quantity. Without consciously thinking about it, most of us enjoy a pretty darned good quality of life today and expect to have a lot more years ahead as evidenced by thinking about someday selling shop, retirement, etc.

A common problem though is that we devote way too much time on the little seemingly urgent daily problems and issues. On the other hand, we don't spend nearly enough time today (and not tomorrow which might just not be there) enjoying what we have with those persons who are really important in our life.

My quantity of life is going to come up a bit short but the quality has been very good and despite the physical short comings, has actually become better in this 1 year-and-a-half. I enjoy and appreciate every day and everything much more than before. I also see family and old friends frequently now and have visits with new friends like Mark and Cathi and Pam and Roma. I've
heard people say that when their time is up, they'd rather be hit by a truck and have it end instantly. In my humble opinion, they are terribly wrong; in this past year-and half, I have enjoyed some of the best days of my life.

Our two girls now come home for visits more frequently which I really enjoy. My oldest daughter bought a book entitled something like "101 Questions I Always Wanted to Ask My Father." We are having a great time with it and one of the questions we discussed on the last visit was "if you had it to do over again, what would you do differently?" After thinking about it, I said, "I would have spent more time with you two girls when you were little." For example, when I came home from work and we sat down to dinner, I always had the TV news on. Often, one of the kids would be talking and I would say, "Quiet please, I want to hear this news story." Or one would ask me to play
a game with them and I'd say, "After I finish reading I newspaper." If I had to do it over again, the TV would have been off during dinner and I would have read the newspaper after they went to bed or not at all.

I can tell from many of my profound thoughts posted here that most of you are smarter than me. So maybe you're already doing this, but if not, think about what and who is really important, and make sure you give them an appropriate amount of time, plus enjoy and appreciate it. Go home early tonight or at least time, and spend some "maybe more precious than you realize" quality time w someone important this weekend. I hope that you'll think about this and not wait for a death sentence to enjoy the important things now!

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Old 09-30-2002, 07:07 AM   #2
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It's so true.


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Old 09-30-2002, 11:41 AM   #3
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Old 09-30-2002, 11:59 AM   #4
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wow...what a situation...I can't even begin to imagine all the things flood of thoughts that would consume me if I were in his situation...

This is probably the best advice anyone could ever give you in life though
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Old 09-30-2002, 01:21 PM   #5
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....Together we stand ,

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Old 10-01-2002, 02:20 AM   #6
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