Make the best of the rest of your life

To Hospice of Scotland County whose care and nurturing is unsurpassed, thank you for the special care you took of me during my recent stay at Morrison Manor.

Charles Dickens (English Novelist, 1812-1870) in A Tale of Two Cities said it quite succinctly and best, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.”

I am a 90-year-old “seasoned recycled teenager” with terminal cancer. I am inviting you to come along with me on my journey, which I am calling The Exit.

Presently I am pondering these questions: What is the exit strategy from life? How does one prepare to exit life?

This is what I have come up with:

As one opens one’s eyes each morning there’s an instant prayer: Thank you God for another day. There comes an affirmation: This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. A vow is made. If at all possible, as long as it depends on me, let me live this day at peace with everyone.

But, one might consider this thought: Shouldn’t everyone begin the day this way?

Realizing the uncertainty of the time I have left, I am striving to “fine tune” my life, becoming more aware of my life as I have lived it. Have I been forgiven by God? Have I been forgiving to others? Have I followed the “Golden Rule” (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?) Am I living by God’s word which is; “Let us love one another as he has loved us?”

I am assuming a search and seizure mode of operation. I am asking God to search me and allow me to seize those attitudes and actions that are not acceptable to him and throw them out. Remember a line from a song long ago: We should accent the positive, eliminate the negative and don’t mess with Mr. (or Ms.) in-between.

My mantra is: let go and let God, turn everything over to him. He has given me great calmness and peace in this matter that I did not know I had. The serenity, peace, meditation and tender care I have received at the Manor is a contributing factor.

In other situations not related to health problems, let go and let God! There may be old grudges, excessive pride, fear, misunderstandings, plain old stubbornness or meanness or other negatives one has held on to. If you simply let go and let God, life would be happier, blood pressure would come down and stress would be reduced.

Since we all know that “Laughter is good medicine,” let me lighten up the mood.

It is in my DNA that I should often have a funny joke or story to tell. Here’s a chuckle to carry through the day, taken from the book “Old Jokes for Old Folks.”

A man won a million dollar lottery, bought a bar and sold all drinks for 10 cents each. Everyone was having a happy evening except several tables of gentlemen, very somber and quiet, having no drinks. When asked about them, the bartender answered, “Oh they are waiting until 5 p.m. when drinks will be half price.”

I want to say now again it’s the best of times yes, but now because God has put joy, peace and calmness (in spite of the situation) the worst of times have become still, the best of times.

So, for me and others in my same situation, come on, as long as our eyes are open let’s keep on praying, being thankful, joyful with the grace of God with us until…

Finally, let us all strive to make the rest of our life the best of our life.

To God be the glory.

Fannie J. Gilmore lives in Laurinburg.