If your life was given an expiration date, what would you do? How would you change your outlook on life, love and family?
A friend of mine had received devastating news and was given a prognosis of one year. He’s certainly not a kid, but he’s far from old age, and also has a loving wife and two young sons. To be told you won’t be around to experience all the things you’d assumed would be forthcoming in your life surely can’t be easy. Impending death can change how you live, obviously, and can make you take stock of what you have and realize what’s truly important to you.
A few days ago, my husband and I were invited to witness the renewal of their wedding vows. They wanted to celebrate and reaffirm their love as a family. Their sons stood with them for most of the ceremony and received necklaces just after their parents exchanged rings.
What really touched me (and frankly made me cry like the girl I am), were his wife’s vows. She described taking her first motorcycle ride with him, and the lesson he’d given to her just before they headed off: “Lean into the turns.” She was reluctant, as her instincts told her she should lean away. But she chose to relax and trust him, and in doing so, fell in love with riding, and with him. Since that first ride, she’s taken that lesson to heart in everything else in their life together. Take what you’re dealt, even if it seems crazy, because what you receive in return just might be far more rewarding than you ever imagined. Lean in.
For what it’s worth, our friend received this diagnosis a year and a half ago, so he’s already outlived his original prognosis. He’s still quite healthy, and he even took on a new job in a new field. He began a new chapter, even when facing what are supposed to be his last years. You may say he and his wife are living on borrowed time, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. They’ve taken that time. It’s theirs. They’re not giving it back. They’ve chosen to lean in, and enjoy the ride they have left.