Living, Breathing, Loving, and Dying

Man today was hot!!! It was that kind of day where your mind plays tricks on you into thinking it’s still the middle of summer. Spent the day with good friends reminiscing about old times and the crazy things we did. Old friends really are the BEST friends. They knew you when you didn’t even know yourself or who you would become. Then here we are 30+ years later-1/2 century old and SO much living done in between. Most of us have grown kids and a lot of us have grandkids (not me…yet). Seems so crazy to think about how many years have passed.

The years are short...
The years are short…

LIVING: It’s fun to re-connect with old friends. We know we won’t see them on a regular basis, but we know they care about us. I think about all of the people I have met through the years through the many moves across the country, different jobs, etc. Now even meeting people through social media whom I have formed a connection with via running. I have never met, and probably never will meet most of them, but there is a bond and a common thread that we share through our love of running. I genuinely care about these people who rack up the miles, and sacrifice sweat and time to be out on the road. We understand each other. Though I may drift apart from the “old” friends, we have that bond of the past. With my current “cyber” friends, we have the bond of the present and of doing that thing that we love. I’ve said it before: I have never met a more supportive group of people in my entire life. They genuinely care about my races/running and support my goals 100%.

There is also a great group of women that I work with. We have some gut splitting moments from time to time. There’s something about caring for people and “wiping butts together” that makes one really bond with others. It is that “sisterhood” of nursing. Even when talking with another nurse that you have never worked with, they “get it.” If you’ve never smelled a gastrointestinal bleed or a gangrenous limb, you won’t understand, but nurses do. We can talk about some really gross crap over lunch and never bat an eye, lol! When you think about it, you spend a LOT of time at your job and those people become like family. It only makes sense to support each other and care for each other.

BREATHING: I guess there was another demonstration from a group (whom I will not mention their name because they are media whores and love the attention) at a concert in Kansas City recently. These people are maggots who eat away at the flesh of people simply because they do not agree with what THEY think is morally right. They protest at funerals of those who fight to give them the very right to even do that. They are scum who do not even deserve the free air they breathe and yet, for me to be bitter towards them is no different than what they do. Except they are fake, and deserve no apologies.

Have you ever just taken a deep cleansing breath?  Doesn’t that feel good? Most of us breathe too shallow. If we could just learn to breathe in those situations that unnerve us and support those whom we have a common bond, we all would be a lot better off. Too many times, we look the other way when those whom we claim to care about are hurting. Are we really any better than those protestors (speaking for myself) when we act like that? We ALL breathe the same air. There is a passage in the Bible that states that the rain falls on the just and unjust alike. We live in a pretty messed up world folks. Wouldn’t it be a lot nicer if we encouraged each other more?

LOVING: Oh the many aspects of love. There is “agape” love- the highest form that God has towards us-unconditional some would say. There is “phileo” or friendship love when one has a strong affinity towards someone or something. There is “eros” love from where we get the word “erotic” which refers to sexual love. There is “motherly” love which I would say is about as close to “agape” love as it gets. It’s hard to “love” people isn’t it? Especially those who are SO unlovable. Usually they are the ones who need it the most. I have to fight ugly feelings sometimes with ungrateful patients I take care of. I try to look past the actions to the person underneath. I understand that the two greatest commandments are to “love God and love people.” Somehow, we as a society have gotten things so screwed up that no one really knows what that means. I have always felt that those who profess themselves to be Christian should be treating people well (told you one day I would touch on this subject)! I have known TOO many who talk the talk, make an appearance, do everything that they are “suppose” to do yet fail in that one area…loving people. I might add “judging” people when they don’t even remotely know what that person might be going through. They spout scripture off all day long yet treat their parents like crap and gossip/slander their fellow man. It’s no wonder that people look at all “religious” people in the same light as they do aforementioned “protestors.”

It is true that one can get hurt by being vulnerable and letting themselves care about another human being. That is just part of the human experience. You win some, you lose some. Only YOU have to live with you. I love the Michael Jackson song, “Man in the Mirror.” So many times if we’d just start with that person, we would be on the road to loving others. I am in no way advocating acceptance of bad behavior. You have to put boundaries in your life sometimes and “love from a distance.”

DYING: NEWS FLASH-we are ALL going to die sooner or later!  It is flat out amazing how it shocks people when others die as if they expect them to live forever. A famous comedienne died today. I would say if you make it to 80 years old, that is a ripe old age and a long life. Anything more than that is just brownie points. I have always said it is not the quantity of years of my life, but the quality that I seek.  SO many people do not want to let go. The number of people that enter a hospital with advanced age/illness who want to be a “full code” is astronomical! A full code is when you do everything to bring the person back if their heart stops beating or they stop breathing. I will let you in on a secret:  The statistics on success rates of Code Blues are very low-especially in those with with advanced age/illness. Why on earth anyone wants their 97 year old frail mother to be a “full code” is beyond my comprehension. Codes are ugly things- ribs crack, stuff comes out orifices…need I say more? The point I’m trying to make is that people do not face the aspect of death well yet we will all get there sooner or later. Everyone’s grave is six feet deep as well (unless you’re cremated), so don’t get too big in your breeches either thinking you’re all that. Eventually we will all be worm food.

There has been a lot of controversy about endurance athletes and premature death. The thought is that running many miles, many times over a course of a lifetime actually weakens the heart causing cardiomyopathies and ischemia. I don’t buy it. Even if I did, it wouldn’t stop me. I am not afraid to face death and if I were to die running, I would die happy. The last thing I want to do is to die all broken down in a nursing home later in life, incapacitated and hating life because someone decided  that I should be a “full code.” I do not buy into the presumption that running is hard on your knees either. I can honestly say, at 50 years of age, I am in the best shape of my life.


I just like to run!
I just like to run!

Which brings us full circle to the LIVING part again. It’s all about balance. Sure we have to make a living and pay our bills, but PLEASE don’t let that consume you! Relationships aren’t usually destroyed by one great catastrophe. It is those little “foxes” that spoil the vines. Throwing your loved one money to go out and have a good time does not replace and is not as valuable as the time spent with you. You can never get those times back. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “what will you be thankful for at the end of your life- receipts from all the money you’ve made, or memories made with those you love? Think about it.

Think about it

Until We Meet Again,


P.S. Aren’t you glad I didn’t include those bothersome dictionary definitions this time? 🙂

Keep a song of joy inside your heart, and even though the time has come for us to part, we’ll be together soon, and time will fly…’cause we never really say goodbye.

–Toni Tenille (sang at the end of every Captain and Tenille show).