Life Balance: a feat we try to achieve while searching to be the best that we can be, while simultaneously raising our children to do the same. This is the equilibrium in our inner life force whereby our heartbeat matches the divine force that exists all around us. When this life balance peaks, our sense of peace, joy, love and wisdom act as one with our very soul.
Watching a parent die is one of the hardest thing you can do as an adult child. You wrap yourself up in the "busy-ness" of daily care, household care, financial care; researching the latest symptom, the next scan, the next loss of human dignity your parent must endure. And yet in the end, it's just a ticking time bomb waiting to explode, with you in the Batman suit desperately look for a place to drop it so no one is hurt.
No one escapes this life alive, you we as a human race spend a lot of time and energy pretending we can delay the final appointment we all must attend - our own death. We read all kinds of books on how to live longer; don't eat red meat, eat no meat, eat ONLY meat; spend thousands of dollars on magic pills to stop the aging processes and resulting wrinkles and even try to cryogenically freeze our bodies for the Frankenstein revival we are sure a 12 year old is now developing an App for.
But really, in the end, there is GOOD in all things, even dying.
1. You get to eat anything you want.
Okay, the 72 oz steak might go down your esophagus only to come up 10 minutes later, but who really cares? My Dad was diabetic--WAS--the 70 pound cancer weight loss became the miracle cure for his diabetes. Once diagnosed, the shopping list read as follows: Donuts, Cookies, Sponge Candy, Hershey Kisses, Ice Cream, Maple Syrup, Apple Pie and Danish. And more candy. And discounted Valentine's day candy, followed by chocolate Easter eggs sales, followed by Girl Scout cookies.
2. You get to drink anything you want.
Yes, the medical world will tell you not to drink because you are on chemo, you're taking radiation, you have pain pills, sleeping pills, pills for diarrhea, pills for nausea, pills to increase appetite, pills for skin rash, pills for anxiety, pills for depression, pills for infections. None of them work well with alcohol. None them are probably good if you have LOTS of sugary drinks, tons of caffeine, milk shakes for breakfast or pop with morning muffin. At this point, who really cares? Have it anyway.
3.You can stay in your pajamas & slippers and no one notices when they come to visit.
It's funny how little things like your personal appearance don't matter so much when the end is near. Comfort rules. No too tight tiddy whities, no bras that bind, no shoes that pinch your toes. All of it gone, replaced by fluffy soft pajama bottoms that become your favorite fashion accessory.
4. The end of toilet bowl cleaning and floor scrubbing - other people clean your stuff.
Years of vigilant organization and cleaning were vigorously maintained for my Dad by family and friends, and eventually a loving Mom of a neighbor was hired to do it for him. In the beginning, he got to continue being master and commander making to-do lists for the weekly cleaning, but toward the end reality hit home: dirt just really isn't an issue at this point.
5. No more worrying about financial matters. Either you have it or you don't; it's all the same.
Yes, there will be a roller coaster of worry about having enough or what to do with what you have, but the end result of trickle-down economics: we all come in with nothing and we leave with nothing. We are all just as rich as the next guy in the end; a leveling of decades of labor trials happens, so forget about money as your currency and think of love as your currency instead.
6. Pain is triumphed by love.
Remember all the days you called in sick to work, or missed parties because you didn't feel up to it? And then you would hear the stories of something great that you missed, making you wish you were healthy? Well now, you call out of life and lay in bed because you're sick, you call out of sick and lay in the bed of life, cherishing everything and not missing a thing.
7. It's your special day everyday.
Did you always want to be the Queen, the Big Guy, the Head Dude? Well guess what, now you are. Want to take a trip? Watch all your favorite TV shows for days on end? Demand that everyone listen to you and pay attention for once? Wish that the kids visited more? Now you have it. It's not one day, it's weeks and months, tons more special days that you had in your whole lifetime, so enjoy.
8. People visit all the time and make you laugh.
We all would like to have Jimmy Fallon visit us and do a personal comedy routine in our living rooms and guess what? Everyone you know is Jimmy Fallon. All the funny stories that you ever told, all the adventures you shared, and all the funny things going on while you are in your sick bed will be retold to you again and again. And you will lap it up like it's your favorite ice cream flavor in a ten gallon bucket. It's amazing, it's the gift that keeps on giving everyday in small ways.
9. The Rules No Longer Apply.
Skinny Dipping Is Mandatory. Go Commando, Get Wild, Drive Like a Maniac; Do it All.
Your free spirit that you have been holding in your whole life breaks free. You have an amazing sense of "who cares, let them arrest me." Want to go crank the car to 100 or do donuts in the parking lot? Go ahead, make my day. No one will judge or question, in fact they may join in.
10. Your heart will grow three sizes bigger with love.
All the love you shared in your life will come back to you ten-fold, you will remember each and every kiss, soul-mate, baby, best buddy and puppy you held. You will dream it, see it, discuss it and feel it like it was yesterday, because in the thousands of years of humanity, it WAS just yesterday.
You will feel compassion and understanding you never thought possible and make new connections you didn't think existed. New friends, old friends, all helping, all loving you. And in the end, that's all that matters.