Can you imagine a time when you will go to theatre to watch a play. That you will meet the actors afterwards and compliment them on their acting. That you will forget that one of those actors is your daughter.
That’s what Alzheimer’s does to you.
Can you imagine a time when you will want, more than anything else, to go for a walk with your beloved. In the cool, crisp air. Eyes soaking in the greenery around you. But your legs cannot support you any more, they have the tremors. You may lose your balance and fall at any time.
That’s what Parkinson’s does to you.
None of us know what tomorrow may bring. We think we will read these books later, when we have more time. We allow our attention to be consumed by social media and what’s app, by the sundry stress of everyday life, by the next trending series on Netflix, not paying attention to the ones we love most. We have our whole lives together, we think. Time enough, all our tomorrows forever.
But what if one of you ends up with Alzheimer’s or dementia, with Parkinson’s or some other disease that robs your “later” forever.
What if you meet with an accident that proves to be fatal? Or that leaves you paralyzed?
All of these things happen. But we humans don’t like to think of our fragility. We don’t think of our tomorrows as being numbered. We see our lives stretching out ahead of us unencumbered. We don’t think about death, it’s so morbid. Instead we squander our lives, our time, running after things that – in the grander scheme of things – are unimportant.
We fight and argue over the most inconsequential things. We waste our hours as mindless consumers instead of creating or doing the things that give us a greater sense of meaning.
What if we lived with the thought of our own mortality? If we remembered that from the time we took our first breath, we started our march towards our death?
What if we lived each day as if it was our last. What would we do differently?