A 17 year old girl, diagnosed with cancer and in the final months of her life, finds purpose, meaning, and love so that she can leave the world more alive than she ever was before.
They say you don’t really die until the last person on the earth says your name for the last time. I’m not sure how much I really believe that. It’s a strange thing to consider. The fact that there will come a point in time when you will no longer walk this earth; not really. That people and everything else will go on without you. Sure, they may be changed a bit if you did your job right, but they will go on none the less. I’m not sure how I feel about that either.
When the doctors told me that there was cancer in my pancreas, time seemed to stop for that moment. Everything froze, including me. I could have sworn that my heart stopped beating. I felt like I was going to die right there on that table that was dressed in paper and a pillow to give the illusion of comfort. There’s never anything comforting about those things. But then, as my mind started to hear their words again, time picked back up and kept moving forward. I was a fool to think that it would stop and wait for me again. It never does.
Four months. That’s what they gave me in their office that day. I was seventeen years old. To some people, I was just a child to be protected from the evils of the world. To others, I was an adult, ready to deal with the fact that my life was suddenly ending. I wasn't either. All I wanted to do was sit in my room and slowly go insane. But to be insane, you have to be rich. I was still paying off my 2005 Honda Civic. Going insane wasn't much of an option.
So what was I to do? Sure I went through the stages of grief just like everyone else does, but I also reached a final step. Living again. I realized something, as I sat on a park bench surrounded by pigeons, that I didn't want to die sad and lonely. I didn't want to die at all, but there was nothing I could do for that. There was nothing that anyone expected of me anymore. No limitation, no restraints, heck, I wasn't even being forced to go to school because I was in the doctor's office so much. I had an entire life's savings at my disposal.
I felt like Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson in that movie, The Bucket List. I realized that there was so much I had always wanted to do and that there was so much I could finally give back. In that moment, I was free.
There's a lot that you can do in four months’ time. If I was going to leave this world with a bang, I needed to get started.
Watch the Titanic
Make Someone's Day
Volunteer for a Day
Save Someone's Life
Ride an Elephant
Ride into the Sunset With Someone Special
Learn to Bake Cookies
Learn a Foreign Language
Drive a Boat
Watch a Sunrise with a Cup of Coffee
Go on a Blind Date
Make a Naked Snow Angel
Swim With Sharks
Chase a Tornado
Leave a Legacy