Facing the prospect that my journey may well now have far more yesterdays than tomorrows, I decided to have a heart to heart conversation with my doctor on the topic of longevity.
I brought up this topic with her in the past and I noticed that she would always deftly change the subject. Today, things were far different; I suspect that she felt that the time had finally come for her to put this issue to rest. I did notice immediately that her normal jovial manner evaporated as she squinted her eyes and asked me to have a seat.
"You are asking the wrong questions. If you aren't careful, you will spend your life searching for answers that you will never find although at the appropriate time these answers will find you," she said.
"Look at the roses on my desk; they will unlock this mystery for you if you are willing to receive the wisdom inherent in their journey. They don't concern themselves with how long they can remain in bloom for they are far too busy filling my office with their perfume. They function in the moment as they live their lives to the fullest. That is the secret that they have for you my friend; embrace the moment and live fully in it for far too often, life for all of us is about as good as it will ever be in the moment that you live it."
She continued, "More to your point, there are profound mysteries that medicine will never unlock. The chemo that you are on is not healing you; it merely puts you in a place where your body can heal itself. I know that is a bit unsettling because you have placed the responsibility of your healing on me where in all actuality, healing begins first with you. There is a spark within each of us and as long as that spark flickers, your body with find a way to keep puttering along in search of the very recovery that you seek."
"You ask me about longevity; you contain within you the answer to the very question that you ask. Longevity is a gift that you can give yourself; the secret is to have a life assignment. Not just any ordinary assignment but rather one that energizes and rewards you deeply. An assignment that will become a portion of your legacy, one that ultimately will define who you are for everyone who reads of your journey. You will find that you will live until that assignment is completed. With that sense of purpose, you will battle through the ups and downs of illness; without it you will succumb to the briefest health challenge."
"How many years, months, days and moments you have; those issues are well beyond your pay grade and best reside within the counsels of the Almighty. Your challenge is to live each day to the fullest in gratitude for having been blessed with the wonderful gift of life; that, my friend, is your responsibility."
"So, there you have it. I have just given you a lease on life. Live every day fully or squander it all away, the choice is yours. All that being so, what is your life assignment?"
I thought about it for a moment and replied, "I think I will count to infinity, and then start in on world peace."