Saturday, May 7, 2011

Wish I had Known Him

On May 5th, my daughter recommended that I checkout a blog she found: The post by Derek K. Miller started out with, "Here it is. I'm dead, and this is my last post to my blog." I was hooked and had to read the entire thing. Derek died May 3 and had pre-written this particular entry to post after his death.

The first thing that struck me about Derek's blog is that he wrote in a very conversational style. I could almost picture him sitting in front of me and us having a conversation about his life, his illness and his wonderful family. I did not feel pity, I was intrigued. I wanted to read more. I wanted to know him.

The second thing I thought was that everyone who knew him was lucky. I could tell from the words of this post that he loved a lot of people and that he was loved by them. He truly loved his wife. It sounds as if they had a fantastic relationship.

I wonder if Derek was always such a great guy, or did his illness form him into something better than the original?

These types of people always make me think: if something happened to me, if I died suddenly or even after a long illness, what kind of an impact would I leave on my family and friends. OK, lately they would all just think I am an editor bitch, but I'm thinking about outside of this past week.

Other than being listed as the author of a variety of articles ranging from dental health or cleaning hotel rooms to racewalking; other than being listed as the editor of all kinds of publications from a technical journal for CPAs to radiography textbooks; have I made an impact?

Lately, I have been under tremendous stress having to do mostly with money, work, bills... I am obsessed with the cost of gasoline and groceries, how much water we use, what is the interest rate on that debt.... I am also extremely frustrated with people who are not following through with the work they promised.

And though all of those things are somewhat important, are they worth all of the energy and stress I devote to them? If I died tomorrow, will someone be saying, "Thank goodness she worried about that Visa bill." "It's a good thing she met that deadline!"

Boy, here I am thinking about how skewed my priorities are, and I am running off on a million tangents, unable to focus or prioritize. This is not the direction I had intended to go. So, I'm just going to finish this and not stress that I lost my point.

I wish I had known Derek. And even without knowing him, he has impacted my life in a positive way.

I hope that I can do a much better job of putting things in perspective, doing what is right, supporting the people I love, being a better friend and wife and mother, and just being a better me ... without having to face a life-altering illness.

Derek, thank you for letting someone like me get to know you just a little bit.

I don't really want to say anything negative about Derek, but there was a section of his writing that made me feel sad. He stated that he feels there is absolutely nothing after life on Earth. When you die, you die -- that is the end of it. I personally can't imagine living my life thinking that this is it -- there is nothing else.

And I hope he is pleasantly surprised that he was wrong.