"We live..we die...and the wheels on the bus go round and round..." (The Bucket List)
After the grief counselor left yesterday I had time to reflect on my life and what I have done...and more importantly what I feel I still need to do.
It was a very emotional look at myself and more importantly what others will/would/do see. I looked back on what I have accomplished as well as some of the dumber things I have done. A friend commented earlier in the week that "life is the sum of all your choices" - upon reflection I would say...she is absolutely correct.
When the counselor left yesterday I went and rented the Bucket List. I have always been a Jack Nicholson fan and knew what the content of the movie was about and how it relates to my present situation. The funny thing is previously I stayed away from those movies as they would elicit an emotional response from me that I was very uncomfortable with...however this movie has always drawn me in...and I felt I needed to see it now more then ever.
The movie brings into perspective the reality of life's choices for those who's time is fast approaching...in summation when the end is near all you can really do is try to make up for lost time while attempting to make amends. A key point from the script that is readily apparent...decisions made 2, 3, 5 or 10 years ago cant be fixed...for those actions have already been "completed" - certainly you can try to make amends and offer apologies however at the end of the day what has happened has happened. Sometimes sorry does not make it right...and then you realize that you don't have much time left...and then sorry is all you really have.
For me it was interesting watching the characters in this movie and how they too handled the eventuality of death. Spurned on by the sense that they had "things" they needed to do I took from the movie the opposite approach. I really have done all those activities that I have ever wanted to do...I have been fortunate enough to live and travel all over the world...and yes I still hate France...but...I have climbed...skied...and jumped from airplanes...fought for and served my country...I have loved and lost...as well as put at risk all that was important in my life. I did so knowingly and in some regards foolishly and often without hesitation or ever fully considering the net outcome for myself and those who cared most about me.
From the standpoint of understanding what my friend had stated...I know she is spot on as it pertains to my life.
Do I still have things I want to do? Yes...I think we always will...but are there things I must do to rectify some of the mistakes I have made? Absolutely...and there in lies my "bucket list" and its definition.
I wont be traveling to climb a mountain or run a race...I have done all that stuff and much more...and often times at the detriment of others. What I must do is make amends not only within myself but with those around me who gave so much and trusted in me. To me that is the real measure of being a man...a man with limited time. In essence...it is no longer about me...
I still have not told the boys. Sheila and I spoke yesterday about how to handle this. I have not seen her face to face yet since the news hit and that is an experience I am not looking forward to either. Her recent email to me expressing her heartfelt sadness over this situation added to the already tumultuous and emotional week to date. Even in divorce we have always shared the bond of the boys as well as a friendship that I could never replace. I will draw some measure of strength from her in the coming months knowing she will be there for them when I am not.
When I awoke this AM I really wanted to bounce out of bed...and I did...only to meet the floor again! I have to be cautious in that my physical actions now have to be taken in moderation. The new medicine - and its higher dosing - has already wreaked havoc on my blood pressure. The doctor will need to dial this as I am afraid that the medicine will kill me before the DCM does!
The wheels on the bus will continue to go "round and round" as stated in the movie... fortunately I am still on the bus...I just want to make sure that before I get off I have touched base and made amends with all those who have been riding with me.