“I don’t want to talk about dying. I want to talk about living.”
-Madeline R. , 5 years old
I just received this message from Madeline’s parents in their Caring Bridge journal. Last year, Madeline was diagnosed with pleural pulmonary blastoma, a rare childhood cancer. It has now invaded her brain in the form of a growing tumor.
How is it that children, like Madeline, get it? We read her statement and say “Yes! That’s the spirit!” And secretly: “Man, is she brave!” “Would I do that?” “Could I do that?”
Because let’s face it, friends. We all talk about dying. Dying not just physically, but in our careers, our relationships, our businesses and our busy-ness, our financial pictures of late. It’s dreary business.
What is particularly interesting is that Madeline makes a conscious choice. She would rather focus on living while she is alive. Madeline loves swimming and baking cookies with her friend, Marcus. Can you imagine if we would greet our days with: “How do I want to live today?” “What is important to me?” “What would make me feel alive?” Imagine creating from a place of “what brings me joy.”
I know it’s a choice, and some days are so much better than others. So here’s how I choose today. Catching up with an old friend, especially ones I haven’t talked to in a long time, brings me immense joy. Going for a run because it’s a beautiful fall day. Writing an email to an old colleague of mine. And hugging my kids a little closer.
Pray for our friend, Madeline. She is wise beyond her years.