On Friday I saw the news headline that Randy Pausch, the "Last Lecture" Professor, had succumbed to the pancreatic cancer death sentence that had inspired millions of people to engage fully in living life, to become an active participant. (For more info check out his website: http://download.srv.cs.cmu.edu/~pausch/ ) My heart broke, but at the same time was filled with the memories of the words that had haunted me from his lecture and subsequent interviews. It is a harsh reality that through his family's pain, so many others received hope.
As people worldwide grieved the loss of Randy Pausch, grief hit a bit closer home to us. On the same day, my Uncle lost his father. He was the pillar of his family, well respected and loved by many. I was honored to attend his funeral yesterday. To celebrate a life now passed really helped to renew in me a spirit of living.
While honoring the life of this man, I could not help but ponder my own mortality. I don't just want nice things said about me; I want to earn great memories from others. Not of wealth and popularity, but of a spirit so filled with love for others that it spilled out in every aspect of my life. I want to live my life as a clear reflection of my priorities, so that there is no doubt who I love and to what lengths I would show it. I desire to be a great example of what I preach, that attachment to things is meaningless, yet relationships with people are irreplaceable.
For those of us who still have work to do on earth, I remind you (as I remind myself) that life is such a gift and one that comes with great responsibility. Be mindful to drink all of life's milk before the expiration date, because when the time is up... it is too late. Sure, it makes it a bit trickier when the expiration date is so smudged that it is not legible, but that is why we are to savor each and every day.