A friend and I, of course, had the standard answer of selling everything we own and doing all the things on our "bucket lists." Once we had shared what that might include (trips to Rome and New Zealand for example), she paused for a moment and added that a friend of hers had been told he had only eight weeks to live two years ago, and all the bucket list stuff flew out the window. Instead of living it up around the world or going on daring adventures, all he wanted to do was stay at home and simply be with his loved ones. If he couldn't get the transplant he needed, he wanted to spend every waking hour enjoying his last moments on earth surrounded by people he loved, who loved him in return. This made such sense. Why go off and spend your last weeks doing things that didn't include the people you care about? Fortunately, he received the liver he needed and he's still here to enjoy life.
But this made me wonder. If I really only had only eight weeks to live, and if I were really honest with myself, what would I do? If the eight weeks was a sure thing, no transplant on the horizon, no misdiagnosis. What would I do?
- I'd sell everything I own, and I mean everything. My condo, the contents, my car. Everything. I won't need them in eight weeks. Why not get as much cash as I can for them while I'm here?
- I'd use the cash to travel to each and every friend and family member who is scattered across the U.S. and Paraguay. And if anyone wanted to join me on the journey, so much the better! If they were all located in one place, I'd stay there, but they aren't, so travel I must.
- But before I left on my sojourn, I'd round up everything I've written that was even remotely worthy of being read and every photograph I've taken that touched my soul, and I would have them printed in a book that could be distributed to those I love as part of my legacy. This is who I am...this is who I was. And I'd make darn sure that the best photo ever taken of me was included, so generations from now, someone would know what I looked like as they read my work or admired my photography.
- And if there was any money left at the end of my adventure, I'd see if there was any way I could set up a trust for each of my nieces and nephews with strict stipulations. They would have to take a year off after high school, travel somewhere outside the U.S., volunteer their time for at least six months, not get married or have children during that year, and learn another language. If they did all that, and I'm sure I'd think of more "live it up while you're young" things for them to do, then they would get the money from the trust to do with as they pleased.
- Finally, I'd end my journey in Texas. It wouldn't really matter where, as long as it was in my home state (but preferably not West Texas or far South Texas...maybe it does matter). I would want to breathe my last at home, hopefully with at least one or two people who loved me, who were there to hold my hand and wish me well on the next leg of my journey.
So that's what I would do if I found out today, without any doubt, that I only had eight weeks to live. What, dear reader, would you do? I'd really like to know, so e-mail me or comment on this blog.