Tag Archives: life

A Reminder

7 Dec

Ok, I know that I have failed to provide updates about my last few weeks of training and my race.  I promise to bring you up-to-date on everything later this week. (Spoiler alert – the Nike 1/2 was great, finished pretty close to my goal, and had a great time in San Francisco!).  Additionally, I am training again to run another 1/2 marathon in February.

But, what I really wanted to write about first was a reminder I recently received about the importance of the appreciating what I have and the importance of my efforts to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Over the past 8 days, I have been reminded in a number of ways about how precious life is.  As I have mentioned, I am an attorney practicing in estate planning and probate.  I enjoy the area of law in which I practice, but I don’t necessarily always enjoy some of the work involved.  Let’s face it, completing forms for the Court can get pretty boring.  However, I do really enjoy the parts of my job where I feel like I am helping people through difficult times, and in some way, I am making their life a little bit easier, even if just for a moment.  That is the part of my job that keeps me going.

Last week I was introduced to a new client who had been recently diagnosed with cancer.  He had been in great health until he went to the doctor with some stomach pains, then suddenly his whole world was turned upside down and inside out.  He realized he needed to put together an estate plan to ensure his wishes for his assets and his desires for providing for his family would be properly carried out.  And that is where I came in.

I first met my client last Monday, and while it was our first meeting, from the pictures around his house, I could see that the cancer had already taken its toll on his body.  Although he was physically weak, he still had a determination to fight, and win, his battle.

On Friday, I met with the client again to sign his estate plan.  The four days that had passed between visits had not been good to him, and it was clear that he was deteriorating quickly.  He was still fighting, but I could tell the fight was getting harder.

After leaving our second meeting, I was overwhelmed by the reminder that he provided me.  Life is so precious, and we so often take it for granted.  While just a week ago I had been thankful at Thanksgiving for all my friends and family, I was now even more grateful for them and for the fact that as bad as I sometimes feel my life is, my problems are small in the overall picture.  I have my family and friends, I have a job, and I have my health.  I am truly blessed and lucky, and I don’t acknowledge that enough.

Saturday morning I woke up early for my TNT group training run.  Little did I know that another reminder was headed my way.  Each Saturday morning before our run, our campaign manager makes announcements and gives us updates on our fundraising.  She also presents us with a Mission Moment, which is a story or fact about how LLS makes a difference in the lives of those suffering with leukemia and lymphoma thanks to the fundraising that we do.  This week our campaign manager had a special guest for our Mission Moment.  His name is John.  In fact, he was the honored teammate for my team when I was training for Nike, but we never got to meet him then.  You see, John is now recovering from his second battle with lymphoma after being in remission for 10 years.  John told us his story, and there were some tears shed in the early morning cold, but it was another reminder of the blessings we all have.  It was also a reminder of the importance of the fundraising aspect of our training.  Our fundraising helps patients like John continue to beat cancer.

Yesterday, I went back to visit my client again.  He is now in hospice and it is heartbreakingly clear that he will not win his battle.  I hope that knowing we were able to put his affairs in order will give him some sense of peace, and although they may not realize it anytime soon, I hope his family will be comforted by the fact that he took the time to make decisions to care for them even after he is gone.  I am so sad for my client and his family, but I am trying to remind myself that I did what I could to make this difficult time the slightest bit easier for them.

During the holiday season, we all often get caught up in the excitement of gifts and celebrations.  I hope you will all join me in taking a step back to appreciate the blessings we have in our lives everyday.  And once you are reminded of all the good in your life, pay it forward – volunteer, make a donation, offer support and compassion.

This past week has been a reminder … a reminder to appreciate life … a reminder to continue to help others.

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