How Will You Play Cards You’re Dealt

The Elephant in the Room…

I lost my late husband about 11 months ago when tragedy occurred:  he took his own life.  For a few months after this traumatic event, I lived a dying existence.  Nothing mattered; I had no interest in any social events or activities which used to please me.  There was no pleasure in my life at that time. 

Today I have reasons for happiness.  Don’t misunderstand me – I remember him always knowing we were in love and shared immense happiness.   However, each day now I fill my world with a bit more love and joy in the little things.  How can I not?  My girls, two white boxers I rescued – or did they rescue me – share with me each day their unconditional love and endless forgiveness.  What could be better. 

That hole in my heart will always exist.  Though I can say with certainty that the healing process continues and I am inspired by Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture.  I am moved to finding all the ‘happy’ moments in my world and to enjoying the life I have.   Because when all is said and done, as Randy mentioned:  it’s about how you play the cards you’re dealt! 

Recently I came across the following story of Randy Pausch who used the Last Lecture to engage people to live life instead of just going through the motions.  The talk was modeled after an ongoing series of lectures where top academics are asked to think deeply about what matters to them, and then give a hypothetical “final talk”, with a topic such as “what wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?”  


I’d like to share it with you here and encourage you to follow his lead with your life.


The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.”    ~Randy Pausch


Randy Pausch was 47 years old when he died from pancreatic cancer.  He was, as the Independent of London put it, “The dying man who taught America how to live.”  His book, The Last Lecture, is an international best-seller and it proffers many brilliant lessons about life. 

Randy Pausch’s “last lecture” was delivered September 2007, at Carnegie Mellon University, where he taught computer science.  The lecture began with him standing before a screen beaming down chilling CT images of tumors in his liver, under the title:  The Elephant in the Room.  He then said to a stunned audience, “I have about 6 months to live.”  He said, “I’m really in good shape, probably better shape than most of you,” dropping to the floor to do push-ups. 

He went on to say, “I’m dying and I’m having fun, and I’m going to keep having fun every day I have left.”  He talked about his childhood dreams and what they had taught him about life.  He said, “If you live your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself … your dreams will come to you.”

Randy Pausch really was a dying man who helped teach us how to live. 

He died on July 25, 2008 but his wisdom, his passion and his attitude are lasting sources of inspiration for all of us. 

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s