Monday, August 10, 2009

Enjoy Every Sandwich














We are living on borrowed time.

A month ago, a friend of a friend died abruptly. He was 39 years old, fit, energetic and healthy, with much to look forward to and many family and friends around him. He was engaged to be married. One hot day, he and his fiancĂ©e stopped to swim in a river, a place they’d gone to swim many times before, and he was swept away by the current.

We do not know when our existence on this physical plane will come to an end. It may happen suddenly, or we may live to a ripe old age, bouncing tiny grandchildren or even great grandchildren on our knee. No matter. Time is fleeting, and all things considered, even the most long-lived among us are not granted much of it.

Why not make the most of it?

Why not relish every moment? Why not revel in a sunny day, or a cold, rainy day? Why not tell the people closest to us that we love them? Why not take the day off and spend it making love? Why not reach out and make the first move to heal a bruised relationship? Why not be big-hearted and generous with our kind words, our money, and yes, even our time? Why not be bold in both our thoughts and our actions?

We have responsibilities, of course we do. But tomorrow we could be gone, or a loved one could be gone, and then what of those responsibilities? Were we too busy to do or even see what was really important?

There is no time to be rushed, or stressed out, or to feel put-upon. There is no time to be rude, or cranky, or annoyed. There is no time to be small-minded, or selfish, or to take advantage of others. We have only these few, fleeting moments. Let’s not waste them.

In the fall of 2002, the pop singer and songwriter Warren Zevon appeared on the Late Show With David Letterman. Zevon had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and was expected to die within a few months. Indeed, he did die less than a year later. During the interview, Letterman asked him if facing death had taught him anything.

“How much you're supposed to enjoy every sandwich,” Zevon said.

47 comments:

ajangel25 said...

Love this post! I think everything and everyone should be cherished because we don't know how long we will have with them!

Michelle said...

Oh Patrick I miss our mutual friend so. Thank you for another needed reminder!

Kate Lord Brown said...

Thanks for dropping by Michelle - a great post. All the old sayings - sieze the day, 'this is not a dress rehearsal' ... all take on a greater resonance at a time like this. x

Erica said...

so sad to hear about your friend. I love this post because its a reminder that it should NOT take deaths to remind us to live

Foursons said...

Thanks for posting this. Sometimes life just sweeps me along and I don't stop and remember how important your words in this post are.

Ter said...

Thank you for the comment on my blog today.

This is true, life is definitely like a river, taking away the ones you love. :(

Brian said...
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Brian said...

That was a lovely post my man...the sammy looks good too!

4 Lettre Words said...

Wow...that is sad and a bit scary.

Great reminder!

rebecca said...

I'm new to your blog and have been visiting for a bit but this is the first time I leave a comment.

I think this post resonates with everyone who stops by. I think we are reminded of life's treasures when we encounter a death. The last thing we want to do - and, yet, the very thing people often do - is get to the end of their lives and say, "if only I had..." That's what we need to avoid at all cost and when our time comes we then can say instead, "I'm glad I did..."

Blessings to you and I am sorry to hear of your friend's untimely death,
Rebecca

Christy said...

I am so sorry to hear about your friend...and I do try to live each day to the fullest.

Thanks for stopping by my blog - so I could find yours!

Ruth Rogers said...

WOW! What a post. I always seem to find myself thinking of this stuff when I lose a loved one... but a few months later I find myself becoming complacent again. I wonder what the world would be like if everyone lived as if this day was their last day!

Liam said...

How unfortunate that we rarely miss our water until the well runs dry.

laurasworthlesswords said...

Gosh that post really hits the spot, it just shows that our time here is limited and we really dont know when it will end.
I know I certainly have become so absorbed in other things, selfish things that I havent been taking the time to just be thankful for my life and to enjoy it fully.
We all really should learn from this.

Erin said...

This post, and this blog in general lifts my spirit time and time again.

Thx to you for that.

Kathy B! said...

This is such a valuable reminder. It's seems no matter how many times we hear it, we embrace the sentiment fleetingly... and every time I vow to try harder. Thanks for reminding me again.

Ronda Laveen said...

Wonderful post and rich words of wisdom. Zevon was so right...Carpe Sammie!

Sue said...

Oh Patrick I was just thinking of him the other day.

One does never know...He was a beautiful man.

Renee said...

Michelle this is such an important post. Thank you.

Love Renee xoxo

jenn said...

so sorry for your loss!
it's a reminder to always live in the moment and take nothing for granted!!

thank you for stopping by blog!!!

burpandslurp said...

Beautiful post. It really hit point for me, today, esp since I'm having a bit of down moment right now.
I'm so sorry about your friend, but it served as a precious and insightful reminder.

nollyposh said...

i thought about your post today when a young man asked for directions to a community service house for some money for a train ticket, as he said his wallet had been stolen... i figured for a couple of dollars, which i had spare, he needed to have that date with destiny sooner rather than later... The story teller in me is still wondering where he was going X;-)

Shelly Rayedeane said...

I do enjoy every sandwich.

I just don't like the fat that comes with it.

Enjoyment, without balance, leads one to death just as quick as not eating the sandwich at all.

Shelly Rayedeane said...
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Shelly Rayedeane said...

It is a beautiful post, by the way.

I'm just being bitchy because I'm hungry for a sandwich

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

This is a good reminder. Enjoy every sandwich. Relish every moment. I'm going to really try that this week.

JennyMac said...

LOVE this. What a well written reminder of carpe diem.

Carrie said...

First off, great post! :)

Second, I am so sorry for your loss. :(

And last, I'd like to say a big thank you to Michelle for stopping by my blog. :) THANK YOU!

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Well, not exactly a fun post but it is so true. You just never know. We need to slow down and take it all in, enjoy the little things MORE. Thanks!
Carrie

Mama Zen said...

Yes!

willow said...

Carpe Diem! Now I'm starving...

Dionne said...

Inspiring post. Carpe Diem, indeed.

Krystyn said...

So true...we definitely need to stop and enjoy all of the little things.

Leni Qinan said...

Sorry about your friend, it's sad especially when it's a young person.

As the Romans said... carpe diem (which is more or less the Latin translation of 'enjoy every sandwich'). Wise post.

Kathy said...

so true! Life is short--eat dessert first.

runzwithknives said...

So sorry to hear about your friend.

Too often we learn from harsh reminders such as these.

Out time here on Terra Firma is just a blip...

Love, Laugh, Live....

Queenie Jeannie said...

Awesome!! Bravo!!!!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Crazy, sad story, VERY true message. Thanks~

Yaya said...

One thing in blogging I've realized is to cherish life. You come across so much heartache and loss that you just have to live each day to the fullest.

Mark said...

Great post! Yes, we have no time for anything except to love. Be love in every moment and we have lived our purpose.

CathM said...

Hmmmmm... a timely nugget of wisdom :)

UBERMOUTH said...

Vey well written, Michelle.
I think surrounding ourselves with decent people who add to your well bieng is important, as is doing the same for them.

When I see people do not have that agenda I simply walk away.

Life is too short for anything but laughter.

Jocelyn said...

The opening story makes me catch my breath, gasp, and moan "NOOOOO."

Good reminders. Every bit of it.

TechnoBabe said...

Exactly! Living each day as if it is our last places us in the right spirit of living the best life we can, not in a selfish way, but in a LIVING and breathing and sharing and caring.

WomensDaily said...

Great post. People really should slow down and enjoy life more.

annechovie said...

Excellent points! Thank you!

Candice said...

Very powerful post!!