Happy Thanksgiving and what’s It All About?
Never let it be said that this blog is afraid to tackle The Big Questions! Lately there have been several public entries in the ongoing discussion of the meaning and purpose of life and when it should end.
Brittany Maynard ended her life at age 29 because she had aggressive brain cancer and did not wish to live through the inevitable pain and debility. In October’s Atlantic Monthly, Ezekiel Emanuel wrote about “Why I Hope to Die at 75”. He picked this age (eighteen years in the future) because on average he’ll still be mentally and physically functioning at a level he deems satisfactory. He says that he’s against euthanasia and assisted suicide, but will just refuse any treatment when he reaches that age.
Both these individuals do us a great service I believe by making us think about the meaning of our lives and when is enough enough.
So does Rebecca Alexander in her memoir Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found. She’s a psychotherapist in her ‘30’s living with Usher’s Syndrome which means she’s almost blind and almost deaf nowadays. She writes about what she’s lost. But she also writes about what she’s found in return–an exquisite sense of intimacy
With those she is closest to, a love of silence, a profound gratitude for everything
She still has, and a joy in simple pleasures that most of us forget to notice.
I hope as I suffer the losses that aging so often entails that I can look for the gains as Alexander does. Her “life is a gift so savor the gift you have been given” attitude (my words not hers) is inspiring to me. My communications with my Higher Power so often involve “thanks and I’d like…” I don’t say “I’ll quit if I don’t have health, wealth…” but I also don’t promise not to gripe.
So Happy Thanksgiving! After consuming that last sliver of pie, happy ruminating!