Tragedy for Rent

I find myself thrown into action once again as a result of another person’s tragedy.

This time, Rick, a man whom I once worked with is battling a formidable enemy in the form of advanced bowel cancer.  I know him as a brash, high energy, individual and although we are mere acquaintance’s, his thoughtful blog posts detailing his thoughts and battle over the past month have instigated me to enjoy life in its entirety right here and right now!

But how long will this burning desire to capture the day last?

Taking life for granted appears to be part of the human condition.  From what I have observed, we go through cyclical battles of understanding the meaning of life and then a type of apathy towards it.  The cycles vary in time and intensity, often hidden in a shroud of numbness.  When encountering other people’s tragedies, however, we muster an insurgent power to overwhelm the feeling of numbness so we can love more, laugh more, live more.

One can see this cyclical pattern in the drug addicts of our world… But don’t they seem to be constantly seeking the next high?  It is easy to become consumed by the minutia of life and we often forget where the next “High” is going to come from until we stumble upon the  misfortune of somebody else.  Then, by design or comparison, we recognize just how lucky we are to be alive today and strike out to do all the amazing things there is to experience in our lives.  We get hungry and consume as much of that special something as we can… and then we slowly migrate back to ‘reality’.

Perhaps the coined “Adrenaline Junkies” have it figured out?  Those are the types that can never “leave well enough alone” and they keep pushing whatever boundaries they can find.  My mental image of these types consist of a dirt-bike riding nut-case flying high above the crowds with no safety net and no worries.

How can I become an Adrenaline Junkie and implement the sky diving version of showing more love to my wife and children?  How does one permanently disband the minutia of every day life in order to jump in the drivers seat of the formula 1 race-car sponsored by good will and fueled by a perpetual zest for life?

I worry the answer to these questions is that we are required to transition from a renter of tragedies to an owner of them.  This is a worrisome thought if one assumes that ownership requires a similar point of reference to that of Rick’s.  Good thing I was taught assumptions make asses out of u and me(or something like that)

Thanks to Rick,  I feel as though a new opportunity has presented itself to me.  The empathetic feelings I experienced and the tears I shed by reading his account of the last month has led me a great deal closer to something.  I think that “something” is a better appreciation for what I have in my life, though to sum it up as “appreciation” might not quite do it justice.

Today I’m going to get my wife a cinnamon bun from her favorite coffee shop.
Today I’m going to hug my boys until they claw away from me in desperation to breathe.
Today I’ll call my Dad and make sure he knows I’m thinking of him.
Today I’ll do what it takes to let those closest to me know I care.

And for tomorrow?
I’ll just repeat Today.