Dear Miranda, My friend has six months to live.

This is my friend Richard. He loves homegrown tomatoes, so I bring him some every now and then when I can snatch them from my parents garden. He sent me this picture to show me how much he is enjoying a tomato I gave him. He looks a little like Wario in this picture which makes me laugh.

Richard went to the Dr. again last Tuesday and they found that his ability to breathe was down 30% from the last time he was there. His Dr. informed him that he estimates he will live about 6 months.
Six Months.
Of course I was really upset but I am trying to remain positive. Sometimes there estimates are really wrong. And even if he is right, Richard is not gone yet, so I need to cherish the time that we have left.
I meet him for coffee. I share homegrown produce incase this is his last summer to have it. And we talk. Last time we talked about being present and living in the now instead of wasting time in the past or worrying about the unpredictable future. We talked about trying to be more human. We talked about Zen.
And we talked about having only a short time left to live. I realized that if I only had six months left to live, I would want to spend as much time as I could interacting with friends and family. I would make more time for coffee, e-mails, and phone calls. I would find time for game night, because laughter is the most intense therapy I can think of for mental anguish.
I would stop freaking out about ALL the dumb small shit that seriously matters none. I would probably volunteer somewhere. I might go camping… or maybe I would just camp out in the living room with Emily but there would defiantly be smores involved.
I think if I had a deadline on my life I would feel a lot more “alive” each morning when I woke, and be a lot more appreciative for the blessings I’ve been given then I did before.
And  though I haven’t been given a diagnosis like Richard, things like this serve as a very real reminder that life is precious and fleeting and that death doesn’t seem real until its upon you. Many people never even see it coming. So I’m aiming to get my shit together. Not in the “I need to get more organized… I need to make more money… I need to be better about folding the laundry so it doesn’t get wrinkly…” way. In the “Is today my day and if so am I doing what I need to. Am I happy with how I spent my time. Do I need to do anything else today to set it on the path it should be on,” way.


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