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I wanted to add a post about Thanksgiving before school went into the week-long holiday, but I wasn't sure where to go with it that didn't sound cliched, or at least like a series of shallow platitudes, until I realized that I knew exactly what I'm thankful for.

My friend, Jay Lake, has chronicled with unflinching vision and honesty his experience with cancer. Today he wrote a note about receiving the Audie Award for his part in METAtropolis.  He concluded with a brief summary of what he believes cancer has done to his writing-career dreams.  I found the post heart-wrenching.

Yesterday, I read Tom Piccriilli's essay on his brain tumor, "Meeting the Black."  I don't know Tom well.  I think I met him in passing at some convention.  But his essay . . . words fail me.

Both authors are facing medical crises that threaten their chances of long, productive lives.  They both share their stories with all the writerly, language tools that a life-time of practice has given them.  Their experiences are illuminating (if you consider "illuminating" to also include the flash a nuclear bomb might produce to light the landscape of your thinking).

Here's what I hear from both.  I believe that they hope I hear exactly this: life is short, your gifts are temporary, so you better TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY SINGLE LIMITED AND FINITE MOMENT!

I'm positive that they'd both leap at what most of you and I have: week after week after week of healthy, unworried, continued existence with our mental faculties unencumbered. 

Carpe Diem is not enough.  It should be Seize Every Single Precious Fleeting Vital Awesome Lovely Hopeful Day Because There Aren't That Many of Them, and, If You Are Not Using Them, There Surely are People Who Would Give Anything to Swap One of Their Days For Yours.

My hopes and fondest thoughts go out to Jay and Tom, but I believe thoughts without action carry no weight.  If I don't take a lesson from their experiences, from their reports from the terrible field, then I'm wasting my incredible opportunity. 

And so are you.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 16th, 2012 06:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this post and reminder to count our blessings!
Nov. 16th, 2012 07:18 pm (UTC)
Yes, Jay's post is an important reminder of what's really important. Thanks for linking to it.
Jan. 30th, 2013 11:58 pm (UTC)
While it's often true that you don't know what you've got until it's gone, good health is a blessing we can be and should be thankful for.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )