Does Life Hit You Hard … Is Your Life Good?


There’s so much we can learn from pets, especially dogs.  I have three female dogs – my little angels on earth.  Their devotion, undying love and friendship all are mine.  They have an inner sense of our feelings too.  When we’re happy – they are happy!  When we are distressed, they offer their hand (a paw) and kisses (or licks) to help ease the pain.  We have so much to learn from them in our daily lives.

Recently I watched the movie “City of Angels” which stars Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan.  She portrays a doctor who loses her first patient and then cannot understand why she suddenly feels so small.  He portrays one of God’s Angels here on earth watching over us.  And he tries to console and help her with the anguish and emotional doubts she suffers.

Later on in the movie Cage (the Angel) asks Meg (the doctor) why humans cry.  Her best effort at an answer is, “Maybe … maybe emotion becomes so intense your body just can’t contain it.  Your mind and your feelings become too powerful and your body weeps.”

That’s it isn’t it?  When I lost my husband Martin by suicide, the overwhelming emotion was more than my body could repress or control and my body wept.  We are designed with an internal mechanism to help us in times of brutal emotion, pain and suffering.  Thus it is why this type of grief takes a long time to work through.  And although it has been two years since his suicide, I still have those moments though they are fewer than they were two years ago.  We never really know how we will react to hardship but our body and mind are made to do what they need to do.   Randy Pausch said, “It’s not how hard you hit.  It’s how hard you get hit … and keep moving forward.”

Which leads me to realize that if we did not know fear, pain, or hunger and never heard music or encounter a magnificent sunrise how could we say we truly felt anything?  Strangely though it may seem, we learn to cope with pain and suffering only by experiencing both.  Just like we enjoy the summer growth of flowers, plants and trees we also admire their brilliant foliage in the Fall as they ready to die and rest through the cold of winter.  I believe C.S. Lewis said it best, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

One of my goals is to truly enjoy life and enjoy my girls – yes, the dogs.  Today – Sunday – I wanted to finish this blog in order to post it.  But it was a bright and beautiful day and the girls kept staring at me as if to say, “Mom, aren’t we going to have some fun?  Can we go out and play?”

So what did mom decide to do?  Work or play … it’s a difficult chore for me, knowing how I was raised to do the ‘right’ thing.  Surprisingly, I realized the ‘right’ thing to do in my ‘2nd chance with my girls’ was to go outdoors with them and play in the pool.  And we had the absolute best time we have ever shared!  And you see, I am finishing this article for my blog, just a bit later than I had on my personal timeframe.

Life is a mystery and I suppose we could agree that death is also.  It is said that there are no “do overs” in life.  But every now and then, I believe that we are gifted with a second chance.  I lost my one true love two years ago.  But God brought me my three little angels who love me like no other human could.  And the question remains: what am I going to do with it?  How am I going to play my second chance?  Stay tuned and I’ll let you know.  In the meantime I ask you, “How will you play your chance at life?”

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.  Don’t wait until it’s too late!

I don’t know about the rest of you, however, as for me I’d like to say each day without regret, “Today I loved and lived life … and it was good!”

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. 

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