"I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all." — Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, April 25, 2014

The other day we had this class that was focusing on end of life.
I think it is impossible to feel good during or after a class like that.
Our professor told us her own story of her husband dying.
You are probably thinking her husband was old.
That is what I usually think when I hear that someone has passed away.
But you are wrong.
Her husband was young, with young children, one being 2 years old, the other only months old.
My professor was pregnant when she found out her husband had stage 4 cancer.
I just kept thinking as she was talking, "how do you prepare for that? How do you prepare your kids for that?"
I wouldn't be ready to let go.
She shared experiences, and special memories of their last months together.
How she tried to keep him her husband, and not someone she was just caring for.
She told us how she created a secrete admirer through notes for him while he was staying in the hospital,
The game went on for a couple of days until she revealed herself as the admirer with a special evening planned of movies and dancing to their wedding song.
She said "I got my husband back for that evening and it was worth it."

During the lecture she stopped and had us write a list of the top 10 things we would do if we had 6 months left to live. Her are a few of the things I put in order of importance.

1. Create a community garden
2. Sail the Mediterranean
3. Spend time with friends and family
4. Take a french cooking class
5. Complete a triathlon

Then she told us to write a list if we had 6 weeks left to live.

1. Spend time with God
2. Spend time with family laughing
3. Spend time with friends laughing
4. Wake up to meet the sun by walking
5. Leave gifts and memories for my family and friends

My list changed.
My professor challenged to me compare my lists and evaluate what is important, and you know what?
I like the second list better.
I don't want to live like that quote, "live like it is your last day."
That seems like a frightening way to live. I don't want to think that I will be dead the next day.
But I do want to live surrounding myself with people I love and doing those simple everyday things that I appreciate.
Yeah the things on the first list I would like to do at some point in my life, but when it comes down to what I want and will remember, it is the everyday things I love.

I love walking in the morning.
I love watering my plants.
I love leaving notes for friends.
I love bike rides with friends.
I love drinking my coffee in a coffee shop surrounded by people.
I love checking the mail to see if I have gotten anything.
I love a really satisfying meal.
I love seeing my sister and Bella's excitement to see her favorite aunt.
I love playing frisbee with Kent in the parking lot at night.
I love catching up with friends over breakfast.
I love a clean pair of sheets on my bed.
I love sitting on porches as the sun goes down talking with friends.

These are the things I don't have to try hard to do. It just comes naturally.
I think that is what makes them so enjoyable, the ease of it.
Simple things that don't take a lot of planning, but leave my heart feeling peace and contentment.
These are the things I want to pop up in my day.


  1. Kate, I'm so glad you wrote this. I wish I were there to do some of these things with you. I love your ideas. I still think about our early mornings heading to the kitchen, and I loved them. I loved going for walks before going into the kitchen, and I still feel bad for making fun of your morning thoughts. But I really did like them. You are an awesome friend! And I can't wait to live close again soon :)


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