QUOTE OF THE DAY
Don't send me flowers when I die-- give them to me now so we can appreciate their beauty together!
-C. Leslie Charles
WHAT I'M READING
"Sink Reflections," by Marla Cilley--the FLY Lady.
Yes, I confess. I bought her book. I thought maybe I could learn enough from the book I could turn off the bazillion e-mails that come each day reminding me to shine my sink and put on my shoes.
also (since I can't just read one book at at time):
"Portrait of a Killer--Jack the Ripper Case Closed" by Patricia Cornwell.
This is a much more riveting story than her last book, "Blow Fly" and she makes a believable case for the true identity of Jack the Ripper--who can deny DNA evidence?
also (since I can't just read two books at at time):
"Virtual Mutts," a compilation of vignettes by Karen Derrico
This is a "keep by your chair" book for reading when commercials come on...a feel good book.
"Two Weeks Notice"
I'm a sucker for those Hugh Grant screwball comedies...it's just the part of me that enjoyed Cary Grant doing his thing as well. And Sandra Bullock is growing on me.
No music--just a PhotoShop tutorial on using filters.
Breakfast: oatmeal with blueberries
Lunch: Leftover dinner from last night
Dinner: Cajun chicken and rice
15 minutes on the exercise bike while watching the movie.Shoulder strengthening exercises with the rubber tubing
OUT, OUT, BRIEF CANDLE
8 December 2003
She was 44.
I didnt even remember that her name was Miriam.
She was married to my cousins son, so that makes us related by marriage in some weird connection Ive never mastered (my second cousin-in-law, an in-law a couple of times removed? I never did get those degrees straight).
She had come from the Philippines, a Filipina in a family of Caucasians.
She was quiet and I cant remember if we ever spoke more than a word or two.
I first met her at our first big family reunion. She was there with then-toddler Patrick, who captured everybodys heart. She, her husband and Patrick returned for each of the successive family reunions.
The last time I saw her was a year ago at my Uncle Bills funeral. I passed by her and smiled. We didnt speak.
I looked to see if I had a picture of her. Me, the compulsive photographer. All I could find was a group photo where I could kinda sorta make her out.
She died last week.
It was a "massive stroke," reports say. How do people of 44 years have a stroke? She would surely recover.
Two days later I heard they were "taking her off life support."
She lived just seconds after the tubes were removed.
Her funeral was today.
Miriam was 44. Patrick is 7. I never spoke with her. I know nothing about her, and I feel very sad about that.
Once again I am reminded of the fragility and the uncertainty of life.
In an all-too-appropriate bit of irony, today I received two somewhat related e-mails. In one, a friend we have not seen in many years wrote to tell us he has been diagnosed (for the fourth time) with cancer, and has been undergoing chemotherapy.
In the other, I received one of those pieces of inspirational emails which float around the net from time to time (if I was supposed to pass this on to 5 of my closest friends so my life would be blessed, the sender thankfully removed that bit of sop from the message...it was the message itself which was important).
The piece talks about how we put off doing things because the time is never right. It mentions all the women on the Titanic who didnt have dessert (maybe that wasnt the right thing for me to read!)
But it talks about the things we are going to do "later" or "when I have time" or "when I get around to it."
I think about the years that Paul promised to go have a one-on-one lunch with his grandmother, which he never did.
In this family we know, perhaps all too acutely, how important it is to seize the day, to do those things that youve always wanted to do because there may not be a tomorrow. Its not a fatalistic thing; its just reality.
If there is one thing we have learned it is to speak our lovenot only for those whom we romantically love, but to the people in our lives who make a difference, the people we admire, whose friendship has been important to us. We try to tell them what we think now, while we have a chance.
I can remember after Gilbert died when I made a point of telling the people he really cared about the good things he had said about them. He was not a person who felt comfortable being open with his feelings and why he confided in me, I dont know. But more than one person was astonished. "I had no idea...." they would say to me.
I want the people in my life whom I love to "have an idea." I want the people I admire to know how I feel about them. I want to die with as few regrets as possible. I want to seize the day and make it my own.
I wish that I had said more than "hello" to Miriam.
Just for today, tell someone important to you why you are glad they are in your life...and then do it again tomorrow.
THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST
Weight Lost to date: 55.6 lbs