Early in my career I worked with a physician who was a pioneer in the hospice movement in Philadelphia. I always wondered if I would have the courage to choose hospice. But after a week in the hospital, I realized that hospice would improve my quality of life. And for me that meant:
Spending time with family and friends with no limitations of hospital hours and protocols
Having independence to get out of bed and walk to the kitchen for a glass of water, and hopefully,
Not having too much pain.
Facing Death with a Loved One
It’s hard to know what a dying person wants you to say or do. You might be inclined to back away thinking you should respect their privacy at such a difficult time. (I know I’ve done that, and now I regret that I might have done more.)
These chats with family and friends have me reflecting on what made my life special. And it’s occurred to me that some people get quantity, others get quality, and the really lucky ones get both. I’m kind of pissed about the quantity part of my life; I’m too young to die. But thank God, I hit the lottery on quality.
I moved to Cape May, a place I love so much at an early age.
I got to be a beach girl, watched thousands of sunsets and walked miles on the beach, the ocean a song for my soul.
I had a terrific career in healthcare.
I wrote and published two novels, Cape Maybe and Peace by Piece.
I retired early and loved living every day completely with Jim.
We lived large. We started going to Florida for winter vacation 15 years ago, extending our break from two weeks to a month and recently to five weeks.
We have wonderful families.
I could go on…
If you take away anything out of this post, take it from me that you are creating the story of your life this very minute. Don’t put off vacations because work is too busy, tell your lover how they complete you, be present in the lives of family and friends, and follow your passions. Go to the beach, or whatever your version of that special place might be.