faced with your own (im)mortality

*we interrupt this regularly scheduled snark-fest to bring you something sappy and introspective.*

If March 2011 was your last month to live, how would you live it?

ah, reverb10, i thought i’d left you behind, but you sneak up on me. you’ve got some mad ninja skills, ya know?

in all seriousness, the folks behind reverb10 continue to send out prompts monthly (then daily in the month of december). the last two i honestly don’t remember, but this one caught my eye.

when i was in high school, there was this assignment we had to complete about a life plan, or life goals, or something along those lines. my friend lisa, who was a year ahead of me, listed tap-dancing across the brooklyn bridge as one of her goals, i think slated for sometime in her 20’s. sadly for lisa, she didn’t get to achieve that goal. the brain tumor she’d thought she’d ridded herself of in middle school came back with a vengance and she passed away in 2001.

it’s hard for me to not think about her, and all the things she could have, and would have, accomplished if she’d only managed to beat the cancer the second time around. anyone who met lisa knew just how much she loved life. she always put on a happy face and was one of the smartest people i knew. even though she’s been gone for over 10 years now, i still find myself thinking i’ll run into her somewhere in seattle. pretty safe to say i miss her, and always will.

but i didn’t set out to write a eulogy, or depress the hell out of everyone. what would i do if i had a month to live? i can tell you what i wouldn’t do: run around trying to cram in everything i’ve always wanted to do but never had the time. that hint of desperation would take out all the fun of trying new things and seeing new places, and i almost feel like it would just become a structured task list, just like my workdays.

i would hope that i’ve been a good enough friend/daughter/partner/sister/ niece that those around me know that i love them dearly and i wouldn’t have to be all morbid and spend my last few days saying goodbye to everyone. (lisa, apparently, once she found out she was terminal, threw herself a goodbye party. it was such a typical thing for her to do, but i’m sort of glad i didn’t find out about it until after it was over, having been away at school. i don’t know that i could have attended without bawling the whole time.)

no, i’d take a good long look at my mental list of goals and i’d pick two. and right now i’d say that the two most important ones to me are to see sweden and meet the members of u2.

sweden: i’m half swedish. i’ve been to ireland, even seen the town where my clan originated, but i’ve yet to visit sweden and the town where my grandparents parents parents parents lived. i have cousins who live there that i’ve never met. so i feel like, to be fair to my heritage, sweden needs to be seen. an added bonus is that it’s supposed to be quite lovely, and i’m a sucker for lovely places to visit.

gothenburg, sweden

meeting u2: i’ve said they’re my favorite band, and they truly are. and the one question i’ve always wanted to ask is how is it that four guys, who have known each other since they were young teenagers, have managed to become, and remain, one of the biggest rock acts in music history? better, how are they still friends? this would, of course, mean returning to ireland, but i think i can live with that.

i may also indulge in a dramatic movie moment on the west cliffs of ireland, with the waves breaking down below, the breeze blowing my hair out (it would be long, of course) and big anthemic music crashing around me. i would look all pensive and lonely, yet stoic.

but no tears. there’s no point in crying over the inevitable. at least, not more than once.

*image via world66.com

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