Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Fragility of Life

A Note From Tiger: I was fully intending on this being a blog post about my lack of running, about ironman training (or thinking about it), about inspiring people, about the stuff that Tiger usually talks about. Of course, life happens, and you get what I like to call another "Debbie Downer" post. But it might not really be that "Debbie Downer" like...perhaps it's just a little...Philisophical. :) There ya go, Marci!

Ever look at an older person struggling to walk across the street?
Ever wonder what their niche used to be? There passion? Perhaps they used to be runners, or cyclists or swimmers just as we are. Perhaps they had some other passion. Maybe they have children and families, or maybe they are happily alone.

Ever look at those with impairments? They may have a challenge that most of us don't have. Ever notice that these people are generally happier and appreciate the littler things in life? Waking up each day is honestly a gift.

It's amazing how quickly things can change. One second a person is healthy, and running around and loving life, the next thing they're down with the flu or a cold or something. Normally these things aren't important, and you get over them within a few day. My brother's 16 y/o friend wasn't so lucky. He went into the hospital on the Canadian Thanksgiving with pneumonia, and passed away yesterday. He had some challenges before the pneumonia, but he was apparently a great person. Appreciated life, had a great personality and my brother took to him. It sucks that he lost his friend, and it sucks that he has to have this 'life experience' so early in life.

Ironically, one of my friends sent this to me today on facebook, before I knew any of this happened.
Just read it, and take from it what you will. I think it says about all I need to say. I'll be around again tomorrow.

A Dog's Purpose.

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolf hound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion.

We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, 'I know why.'Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, 'People are born so that they can learn how to live a good Life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?' The Six-year-old continued, 'Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.

'Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.
Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy..
Take naps.
Stretch before rising.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

Go tell someone you love them.



At 6:40 PM , Blogger Missy said...

I'm cryin' over here, God love a dog!

At 7:09 PM , Blogger Marci said...

{{**hugs**}} So sorry about your loss. Your perspective on things is so true. Life is precious and we never should take anything for granted!!

At 5:22 AM , Blogger Wes said...

Only the good die young... {hugs}

At 6:05 AM , Blogger Mama Squirrel said...

Hey Tiger--I'd like to link to this on our Treehouse blog. So sorry to hear about your brother's friend--you are right, life is more fragile and precious than we often realize.

At 8:29 AM , Blogger Vava said...

The wisdom of children sometime comes at the most important moments. I have learned so much from kids - not always, but they have these moments of clarity where they can explain complicated matters without clutter or ambiguity better than any adult.

Great post. Thank you.

At 8:33 AM , Blogger Marlene said...

I'm so sorry about your brother's friend. How sad. :(

That is a great story, though. Thanks for sharing.

At 9:54 AM , Blogger robison52 said...

You're on FaceBook too? I just started FaceBook last week and my name is Bruce Robison. Drop me a "Howdy!!"

At 11:18 AM , Blogger Ryan said...

I'm usually sarcastic, crude, and a bit it is better and more poignant that I say nothing...

At 4:46 PM , Blogger *aron* said...

i am so sorry about your brothers friend :(

i have seen that before and loved every word of it... thank you for the reminder, its so easy to forget how precious life is.

At 1:27 PM , Blogger BeachRunner said...

So sorry for your loss.


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