I had the pleasure of caring for a very wise and feisty 84 year old woman today. She is a very sick little lady. Her heart has simply grown tired and can no longer support the body she so vivaciously inhabits. Doctors filed in and out of her room all day, poring through her medical records, scratching their heads and searching for an answer to heal her ailing body. They gave her options, made predictions, spoke truths that brought tears to her grown childrens' eyes.
I stood next to her bed as she carefully pulled herself up, looked around the room, eyes fixed and determined.
"I am ready."
She said it with so much conviction, so much inner strength. They argued with her, of course. It is human nature to want to keep the ones we love here with us. But she was so sure, so confident.
"I've lived on this beautiful earth for 84 years. I've spent my life beside the man I love. I've raised three beautiful children and watched as they birthed their own. I've loved and cried and laughed and prayed. My life is complete. I'm ready for rest. I lie here today surrounded by my family, knowing that I've lived a good life. I did everything I could to make it the best life it could be. What more could any person ever ask for? I am a blessed woman".
I spent the rest of the day replaying those words in my head. What a lesson to be learned. Live your life to the fullest: what does that really mean? Something different for each of us. And all that we can strive for is to figure out what that something is. And make it our reality. I can only pray that someday, when my time nears, I have lived my life so fully, so amazingly big, that I have chased all my dreams and conquered all my fears, erased all regret and accepted all that I am, loved with every ounce in my being and felt that same love back, that I can feel confident in saying,
I am ready.