You have Five Years to Live…!

Submitted by Steven Kaszab

Imagine you have been told you have 5 years to live. What could go through your mind? The questions, the emotional pull upon your lived reality. You realize that you are not invincible but finite. There is an end to your journey and you are not prepared for it to happen.

I know of a few people who were told they had a limited schedule with regards to their lives. Our medical professionals often have to tell their patients this type of news. Must be hard to do so.

I have seen many people die before me. Young people often went quickly while those who were elderly knew their time was limited. They could feel it in their bones, by the way they were forced to live, dealing with medical issues and simply the ravages of age.

Well you know you have five years to live. What will you do? How will you live? How will you share this  with your family? Can you walk quietly into the night or will you go kicking and fighting?

I once sat with a elderly lady who was dying. She could not speak, but simply looked into my eyes and I into hers. Hands together, gently massaging her hand and speaking to her not about the after life to come, but about her life, the gift she had been to her family, neighbours and friends. As a chaplain I had not followed the time proven formula. You know, talk about Gods love for Her, and that a place was waiting for Her in Paradise. I have always centred myself upon the person. If God loves us, I do not need to remind her of that do I? 

Well after You take care of all the essentials, like your will, the debts you have, and messaged everyone about the news of your future demise what to do?

What do you simply want? You can continue living your life as you have been. No changes, except perhaps you can have one more beer or glass of wine then usual. Remember all those people who won a lottery and then say they will not change anything?  Yah really. 

Developing a  bucket list may make sense. Everything depends on the type of person you are right. Single, married, young or old. A single person may find satisfaction in so many things like travel, buying things, sex or finding the right person to share their shortened lives. Since you cannot take it with you like the Pharaoh’s of old, emotional and physical satisfaction may fulfil you. Buying a expensive new wardrobe may make your year, and leaving it all to charity a bonus. A hedonistic attitude maybe what your looking for indeed.

Put yourself into a charitable frame of mind. Helping your neighbour, or those less fortunate then you is indeed commendable. Helping others often brings you self meaning, self understanding and strengthens character. However think before giving all your belonging away. At the last hour you may get good news that you can be cured, salvaged in some way. Would be a shame continuing your life in poverty . Never react, always think before you act. 

What if you are a religious person? Boy the questions you could ask, like why did God do this to me, why me, why now? You may or may not fear the promised afterlife. Perhaps you have not been a pillar of goodness. Injured another perhaps? Well in the bad old days, they had sin eaters who would take your sin upon themselves. Ever ask why there are so may grand churches in Europe? Like the song “stairway to heaven” many wealthy but nasty individuals tried to buy their way into paradise. You could try in a small way yourself. The good people of AA seem have it right. You need to recognize who and what you are, and then see the good and damage you have done to others. Then you need to seek absolution, not from God, but from your moral neighbours. If you believe yourself to be one of the chosen you may not need to worry about passing into eternity. However, Image if you enter heaven and find everyone there, is someone you have always hated. Hell in Heaven. 

Humanists can enjoy their lives to the fullest, while doing good, enjoying themselves and their neighbours too. The world is a big place and no matter the time you may have, you’ll never be able to experience all that the world has to offer. You can certainly try and put it all onto credit cards too. Experience the world on someone else’s dime. Not to be encouraged, but them who am I to give you advice?

I think I know what I would do. May I tell you? Since my backyard is my cottage, and what brings me the most joy is my family, I will stay with them, not impose debt upon them, but do all things in moderation. After all five years is a long time. Really. Ever lived an experience that seemed longer then it had been. The three hours I spent with the above mentioned lady did not seem like  a long time. My concern and empathy for her encompassed me, and drew me into her life experience. For that moment, experiencing this lovely lady seemed a gift, and not a burden. In five years image the books you could right, the people you can meet, the love you can experience.

I have had one concern most of my life. as an amateur historian I marvelled at the “great” people that came before me. They left a mark upon this world, whether it be a mark of innovation, creativity, intelligence and humanity, or a mark of Cain. (biblical again). Good vs evil. Creative vs destructive.I think the most important question you can ask yourself is this…What type of mark do I want to leave, how will I improve this world? We are all pebbles of sand in the wind, but together we make up this world, like a sand dune that is constantly moving, we can make a difference, separately or together. Where are your strengths? Can you create for others or just for yourself?

I want to leave a mark that my family, friends and neighbour’s will be proud of, and no time limit can change that impulse, that craving to enjoy what I am to become.

Appreciate and live your lives to the fullest. Remember we are all God’s on a land that we transform daily. Only we can make a difference. 

8 thoughts on “You have Five Years to Live…!

  1. What you may be alluding to is maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Now your at the final stages or thinking about them and it seems to me you are looking at how you are going to be remembered, For some its a military hero, others a great politician ,like in the case of Mother Theresa a humanitarian achievement or like edmund hillary accomplishing some great feat so that the world as we know it will remember you hopefully in a good way for eternity , or that your God will welcome you to a next level if there is one with open arms for a life well lived. But sadly as you are standing in front of ST. Peter clutching your Darwin award The words of that wizened teller at the scotiabank on broad street will come harkening back to encompass your life lived , your glories, your saintliness your achievements ……….” NEXT”

  2. “A samurai should always be prepared for death – whether his own or someone else’s.”

    “Engage in combat fully determined to die and you will be alive; wish to survive in the battle and you will surely meet death.”

  3. “We found that half of participants had detectable Zika virus particles in their blood at 15 days and in their urine at 11 days. Duration was the longest in semen. In a few men, parts of the virus were detected in semen for as long as 4 months

  4. The U.K Sun

    New Covid variant emerges in UK as Delta cases rise by 33,716 in a week.

    Experts at Public Health England (PHE) are currently carrying out analysis of B.1.621 and have confirmed 16 cases of the variant.

    There is no evidence to suggest that the strain causes more severe disease or renders the vaccines any less effective.
    Where cases of the new variant have been detected, health officials have followed up and tested contacts.
    If necessary PHE will deploy surge testing to limit the spread.

    It has also been found in Colombia (325 sequenced cases), the US (264) and Spain (196), among a number of other countries.
    PHE also said cases of the Delta variant have risen by 33,716 since last week, to a total of 286,765.
    The variant now make up 99 per cent of all cases in the UK and PHE have urged Brits to continue to get their jabs.

    1) Pingdemic travel chaos leaves passengers stranded as trains cancelled MID-JOURNEY & public warned chaos will last WEEKS.
    2) Army on standby as 20% of Britain’s food workers hit by Pingdemic self-isolation & ‘half of deliveries DELAYED’
    3) Shops, pubs and restaurants including Greggs, Toby Carvery and Harvester CLOSE venues due to pingdemic staff shortages.
    4) Third of young adults in England between 18 and 29 have not had first dose of Covid vaccine
    5) England’s official R rate stays stable despite one in 75 people catching Covid.

    New research suggests the Delta variant may be able to infect people more easily than the Alpha variant, PHE said.
    While the overall chances of getting reinfected are very low, the Delta variant, first identified in India, PHE believes it is 46 per cent more likely to do so.

    It comes after more data showed the majority of Covid-19 deaths in the double vaccinated are in the over-50s, but lower levels have been seen in those who are younger and double jabbed.

    Of those over the age of 50, 415 people died within 28 days of testing positive from Feb 1 to July 19.
    Of that total, 131 were unvaccinated, 220 had two doses, and 57 had one. It’s not clear from the PHE reports what percentage of people had underlying health conditions.
    In comparison there were 45 deaths in people under the age of 50 over the same time period.

    So far in the UK over 46.4 million Brits have received a first dose of a Covid vaccine, with 36.7 million also having had a second.

  5. KJ21
    And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went out and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred fourscore and five thousand; and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.

  6. @Steven “A single person may find satisfaction in so many things like travel, buying things, sex or finding the right person to share their shortened lives.”

    If I had 5 years to live and was single I would not invite anybody to share my dying days. I would think that would be unfair to the person I am very likely to leave behind in deep mourning. If I had lived the single life I would remain single. I see no point in offering my dying self to anybody.

  7. CUT IT OUT!

    MENS’ head says catcalling should not be tolerated
    By Antoinette Connell
    It is a hard fight to get Barbadian men to stop the type of sexual harassment that a tourist complained made her flee the island after fourand- a-half months into her year-long remote work visa.
    That is coming from the head of the Men’s Empowerment Network Support (MENS), Fabian Sargeant, who said the behaviour was “downright disrespectful” to women and should not be tolerated.
    Freelance journalist Andrea Lo, of Hong Kong, detailed on social media sites how she cut short her trip seven months early because of constant unsolicited approaches and catcalls from men on the beach or while she walked the road.
    After a while, she became fearful and decided to end her Welcome Stamp, an initiative that gives special visas for non-nationals to come to Barbados and work remotely.
    Earlier this week, Minister of Tourism Senator Lisa Cummins said the kind of harassment reported by Lo was “simply unacceptable and [had] no place in modern Barbados”.
    Sargeant said that while MENS tried to help men manage their behaviours towards women, it was also up against some women who encouraged and entertained the lewd approaches and the culture of sex tourism. The toxic masculinity was also a major part of the problem, he added.
    “There’s a culture in Barbados of catcalling by men which is downright disrespectful towards women. This should not be tolerated. Men need to understand what is harassment and what is considered disrespect. We spend much of our time focusing on the emotionally and psychological empowerment of men because you can look at all the external factors that influence men, but men need to look inside and understand this whole matrix,” Sargeant told the Saturday Sun.
    Men, he added, failed to understand there was a thin line between harassment and engaging the interest of someone, and it showed even after the passing of legislation to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace in 2017.
    “Then there were many questions raised about
    how do men communicate with women and don’t come across as sexual predators. But this is so deep in our culture and men generally have communication issues. These are issues that they need to work on at the societal level.”
    However, Sargeant said, there was another dimension to the problem, where women perpetuated the behaviour “that we are fighting against”.
    “You have women who enjoy the catcalls and do things to encourage the men to catcall at them, and they entertain it. It is also entertained on social media and within our music. It seems to have become so much etched into our culture, this negative behaviour.
    “On one hand we are saying to stop, eradicate this kind of behaviour, but the people you are working towards are the same ones encouraging it, so it puts you back to zero sometimes. It is a very difficult situation to manage and I know the female organisations are working to address it,” he said.
    Stating there was the need to be “honest”, Sargeant said there was a sex tourism culture as evidenced by the charging of a couple who broke the COVID-19 stay-at-home order to bring a sex worker into their hotel room. That culture, he added, could embolden men to approach visitors who were alone and make advances.
    “So we have a number of factors that work against what it is we are trying to accomplish. Some women accept the behaviour, encourage the behaviour, but then there is another section of the population that is moving against that behaviour.
    “Men need to manage their sexual behaviours and not act on every thought that come into the minds. Yes, I understand some men will be attracted to women and their bodies will respond, but the same way we expect women to respond in a positive way to their hormones, we expect men to respond in a positive way too and not be disrespectful to women,” he said.

    Source: Nation

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