Welcome to "Mumblings and Musings" Denise Linn's e-newsletter.
February Mumblings & Musings
What would you do if you were told that you had only five more days to live?
Who would you want to spend time with? What would want to do? What would be truly important... and what would pale in comparison?
I had just hung up the phone after talking to my wonderful friend Caroline. She was vibrant, joyous, loving and filled with radiance . . . and she'd been told that on Tuesday they were going to pull the plug and stop her blood transfusions and that by Wednesday or Thursday she'd be dead.
When I got off the phone I wanted to hit somebody or something . . . hard. I want to scream at the top of my lungs, "Why Caroline? Why? Why did Caroline get bone cancer? Why would our medical system do this?" I wanted a miracle. I wanted God and a legion of angels to come down and fix this. But this was my agenda . . . not Caroline's. She was radiating a light that I just did not feel.
I've known Caroline for many years. I used to spend up to a month every year with her in London, when I traveled there twice a year to do seminars. I slept on her too-short couch, with my legs hanging over the end, in her flat on Portobello Road . . . after we had eaten our nightly India curry take-out with glee while talking late into the night about music, life and the universe. I wrote about her in one of my books. (Feng Shui for the Soul) We've spent time together in various places around the world—Florida, Georgia, Washington State, London and Australia—and we share the same birthday. We used to call each other every April 16th to wish ourselves the most amazing year ever!
Caroline said she loved talking to me because I was so positive. But honestly, I didn't feel positive. I felt angry, sad and frustrated. But at the same time, I was on my knees with humility because I'm so inspired by my dear friend.
In the throes of this deadly disease, my splendid friend was teaching me so much. In our conversation, she said that she has realized that her entire life she's been more afraid of living than of dying . . . and that now . . . she's finally living. She's also realized that truly the only thing that matters is joy . . . and she said that she's feeling more joy that she ever has in her life.
"Denise, what do you do when you're told that you only have a few days to live?"
I answered that I wasn't sure.
She said, "It makes every moment precious. When I go to the toilet, I know that there is only a limited number of times that I will be able to do that . . . and it makes it a 'sacred toilet moment'. When I go to sleep, this makes it a 'sacred sleeping moment'. Every bit of food, every conversation, and every moment . . . no matter how seemingly mundane, is precious. I'm cherishing it all. Really we should always be doing this."
We talked about the power of the present moment (and not re-hashing past and not worrying about the future) It's so true—what's important is just being present in this moment now. In truth, nothing else exists but this splendid glorious moment now.
Our conversation made me think of the Charles Schultz Philosophy. Here it is: (You don't have to actually answer the questions. You'll get the point by just reading them.)
- Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
- Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
- Name the last five winners of the Miss America Contest.
- Name five people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
- Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor & actress.
- Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.
How did you do?
The point is, most of us don't remember the headliners of yesterday. These are not second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But achievements are forgotten. Accolades fade way.
Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:
- List a few teachers or people who aided your journey through life.
- Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
- Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
- Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
- Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
It's much easier isn't it? The moral is that the people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that you love and that love you.
There are so many people that I love, and I'm assuming that you wouldn't be getting this newsletter, if you weren't my "peep," so I'm sending you immense love in this moment. I love you. Please remember to relish EVERY moment no matter what is occurring, it is all sacred and precious. (Thank you Caroline for helping me remember this!!!)
Love deeply. Love NOW!! You never know when your last breath, last rainbow, last chance to say "I love you" will be.
I love you . . . you have my love and support always and forever,
p.s. A follow-up: In a following phone call, Caroline told me that she wasn't afraid of dying, but she preferred not to be told the day of her demise and wanted to live longer than Thursday. I love my friend and wanted to do what ever I could to support her, so I appealed to my wonderful community on Facebook for help. (If you are not my friend yet, there please join me. It would be splendid to have you!) We started a letter writing campaign and the miracle that I pleaded the heavens for occurred. Caroline has had her treatment extended. She has been told that she now has months to live, during which time she can examine her options. Life is good!!!! I'm high fiving the heavens.