There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”
― Harper Lee,
Making a statement like this in the 60’s took some guts. There are many thought provoking quotes in Harper Lee’s novel, but this one I never forgot.
I spent my school years in a Catholic boarding school, and we all were raised to fear the afterlife; we were asked to live for whatever will come later. “Just be a good girl and heaven will await you,” was a daily promise we heard, mostly after we had just been in trouble -again.
I feared the afterlife, the idea of being DOWNSTAIRS for eternity scared me a lot. Then I grew up, and I decided that I don’t have to fear anything if I live my life the right way. I can try to be the best version of me and still enjoy the heck out of living.
“Busy worrying,” don’t we all have the tendency to do just that. I know I have and to an extent I still do. Not so much about the afterlife anymore, but sometimes I worry about what will be tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.
My best friend of 30 years got sick three years ago; she too had cancer, but hers was in the brain. Right from the start they told her there was nothing they could do. The doctors gave her medications, tried to slow down its growth, but they didn’t succeed.
6 – 8 months, that was her diagnosis. She took it better than the rest of us. We, the people around her who loved her so much, tried to reach for the stars. “There must be something that can be done,” we thought, and we got busy trying to find the one doctor, the one cure, that might be able to help. One day she made us stop, she wanted us to spend time with her, instead of searching for a nonexisting miracle cure. She was right!
She took her diagnosis with grace. Only once did I see her angry, the day she talked about all the things she wanted to do.
“I worried too much,” she said, “I worried about everything in the future, I almost forgot to live.”
Her disease left her with six months, and she spent them fulfilling some of her heartfelt wishes. She went on the cruise she always dreamed of; she did some silly things, and she felt so much joy.
She got drunk, got stones one more time, and we danced and laughed. Then, when she knew what would happen, that’s when she stopped worrying and started living.
Watching her, taught me a lot. Being with her during her last month altered my outlook on life.