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Anniversaries (eat), pray, and love.

August 19, 2010

ast Saturday, August 14, was my anniversary. Eleven years of blissful marriage. I was told that the anniversary gift, traditional and modern, for the eleventh year is steel. Hmm… This is complicated. I must admit I am a romantic but totally dumb at buying gifts to my wife. I think it is a phobia that my gifts are not good enough.

Instead, how about a 15 mile run at the lakefront? What better way than sharing the Chicago lakefront, watching the sunrise with your love one, drenched in sweat, and in pain. Three and half hours of quality time. Well, that is what happened. We take this time to talk or laugh, like building miles in a relationship.

Yup, it is all about building on something that is already there, but sometimes you run into a rut.  Your running is not working or you are not getting enjoyment from your relationship.  Perhaps, it is time for viagra or cialis…hehe. I have learned that it is not enough that you are running “for” something; to lose weight, get rip abs, for the kids, or for cancer. It like having sex just to get pregnant. Do it enough time and it will work (sometimes), then what?  The point is, it is about enjoying what you like and appreciating what you have.  In my case, I like to be with my wife and run because of the feeling of freedom it gives me. I have said it before, it makes me feel alive.  Alive in the company of those I love.

I pray, not as often compared to my mom, to give thanks for all my blessings. I prayed while I was running that day. I would look at my wife beside me;

You ok, babes? Happy anniversary.” Bam! I scored a three-point, touch down.

My wife never cease to surprise me. She just completed her goal for running her first half-marathon, now she is running with me as if she is going to run the October marathon. She is putting in the miles just to be with me. She works nights and gets clobbered with lots of patients (gun shot wounds, cardiac patients, you name it) at the ER, she builds her miles during the week, then do long runs with me. She tells me she is doing it for me.

Kapow! I am knocked out.

What can I say…except I love her. It is all about L-O-V-E.

Cheers.

P.S. 51 days to go to marathon day and 7 days to my first chemo maintenance session.  This weekend is 16 miles.

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Tuesday people

March 8, 2010

Love each other or die

Once you know how to die; you’ll know how to live

When you’re in bed, your dead

– Morrie Schwartz

hese were only a few of the many aphorism that Morrie shares in the book by Mitch Albom, ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’. There is a movie version of it, released in 1999 with Jack Lemon and Hank Azaria starring in it.

I had watched the movie version long time ago; then lately, I noticed this book among my reading piles. I don’t remember how or who put it there but on a whim I began reading it. God winked. The book was about second chances and rediscovering one’s self. It happened when Mitch revisited his old professor, Morrie Schwartz, who was dying of ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The visits would become regular on Tuesdays and they would talk about the lessons of life.

If you know you are going to die tomorrow, what would you do today? Some people would probably go eat the best steak or go Vegas or do something outrageous. Or maybe you can do something that is really important to you, like love and family. Some problems or material things are no longer important if you know you will die tomorrow.  You cannot bring them to your grave.

Of course, that is not how reality works. Most of us believe, we will not die tomorrow. Therefore, we will attend that important conference calls tomorrow, plan exotic vacations, think of what we can buy with our tax refund e.g. designer purse or shoe, or dream of bigger house or latest car. However, there are times when you get bumped in the head and a reset happens, like cancer or a tragedy. You wake up and see the things differently.  I wish we get bump in the head more often, so we can care more about each other.

Back to Morrie.  I can relate to this book and its messages. There are more important things in life and they involve our family and friends. Tomorrow is Tuesday. Like Morrie, I am a Tuesday person. However, I have two personalities depending on which Tuesday it is. I start chemo treatment every other Tuesday. On chemo Tuesday, I am cranking and irritable.  On recovery Tuesday, I pig out and very thankful for all my blessing.  I guess there must always be a balance in life, otherwise it will not exist.

I am a living example on how I have changed in my priorities. I prefer simpler things and hanging out with my family. My wife had changed too.

“Hon, I have given up shopping just for you to get well” my wife one time told me one time.

“Huh? What about your eBay account? Bags and purses included?  Bolsa de Gucci?” I joked her. I just heard the chorus “Hallelujah” in the background. And she did stopped. I love her dearly.  Instead she run with me and we have more fun now.

You do change when you know you are going to die or the possibility of it. The trick is not to ignore those possibilities and do what is important to you. I will close by an excerpt from the book. I thought Morrie was talking to me and my cancer.

——————————–

“We’re Tuesday people” he (Morrie) said.

Tuesday people, I (Mitch) repeated. Morrie smiled.

“Mitch, you asked about caring for people I don’t even know. But can I tell you the thing I’m learning most about this disease?”

What’s that?

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”

His voice dropped to a whisper. “Let it come in. We think we don’t deserve love, we think if we let it in we’ll become too soft. But a wise man named Levine said it right. He said, ‘Love is the only rational act.’ “

He repeated it carefully, pausing for effect. “ ‘Love is the only rational act.’ “

——————————–

Tomorrow is chemo Tuesday.  I will see you tomorrow, Morrie.

Cheers.

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