I watched the movie “The Fault in Our Stars” this weekend. It was a romantic, yet sad and thought provoking movie about two teens who fall in love – one of them, Hazel, who is battling cancer, who falls in love with Gus, someone who survived cancer, lost a leg, yet seemed to have a positive outlook on life and sense of humor that changes Hazel’s perspective on life…and on what she was going through. But as the story develops, it turns out Gus has a recurrence of cancer which only gives him a short time to live. And we see his battle and struggle with the disease. So much so that it changes his perspective…..diminishes his light. And then it is Hazel who holds him up….tries to encourage him.
There were a couple of things that made me sad. One, and I guess the most important, is that it reminded me of my dad…..of his illness. Of how it took so much away from him. Of how this strong man became so weak and frail. I hate illness. I’m scared of it. I live in fear of having to go through what I went through with my dad with someone else I love. I don’t want anyone I love to ever go through any of that. How horrible it is to be ill and not be able to do the things you once were able to do so freely without a single thought or effort. Something as simple as walking down the street, or using the restroom by yourself, bathing without help, or speaking clearly, or feeling your left arm or leg, or working and feeling useful and productive. God, so many things. So many things that we take for granted.
There was a quote in the movie…one that resonated, which was:
“There’s no way of knowing that your last good day is Your Last Good Day. At the time, it is just another good day.”
When I heard that is was like, wow…she’s right. We never know when today will be our last good day, or great day, or ok day…..or even our final day. When today will be the last day we can talk, and walk, or see, or move freely, or be without pain and illness, or see our loved one, or hear our kids laughing, or hear our moms and dads say “I love you”, or feel their touch or presence, or not have to see our loved ones suffer, or have a place to call home, or food on the table, etc…etc.
Sometimes what we make out to be hellish or difficult days, are not that at all. In fact they are sorry excuses for bad days. They have absolutely nothing on the bad days of people who are ill and in pain and in hospitals, and who are going through devastating and heart breaking struggles. Our bad days are laughable. Compared to them, our bad days are amazing wonderful days. They are great days.
We need to start seeing all the positive around us. Because there is so much to be grateful for. So much to be happy about. So much to be thankful for. You know that saying – “you don’t know what you got till it’s gone”? That saying is so true. See it’s like that song by Passenger…….”only know you’ve been high when your feeling low”, “only miss the sun when it starts to snow”. We humans are like that. We don’t realize what we truly have until it’s gone. Until we lose something. Let’s not wait to lose something to realize what we have. Lets not wait until we are crippled, and ill, or dead, to realize how great we had it. How great our “bad days” really were. Let us not have to ever realize that today was “OUR LAST GOOD DAY”.
You see we all fall into that mind frame. We all succumb. But the goal is to have less days like that, and more days where we admire and count our blessings. More days where we make an effort to see the brighter side. To laugh. To find the humor in difficult situations. To reach out to those we love. To reach out to strangers. To admire in awe at the beauty of the world. To smell the roses……and how beautiful those roses smell.