Live in the Moment
As a person who is almost addicted to making goals, viewing her dreams poster, creating plans and reviewing her bucket list, living in the moment has often been difficult for me. Visualizing potential or possibilities comes second nature; being grounded in the here and now is a challenge. So once again, this post is a message to me and I hope you find personal meaning in the lesson, too.
This week the message of living in the moment has been especially poignant for me. I learned this lesson from a very special 12-year old girl who, in just a few weeks, stole a piece of my heart and changed my life forever. About four months ago I began volunteering for the Make a Wish Foundation as a wishgranter. My job is to work with a child who has a life-threatening illness to make a wish come true. Yes, in a way, I get to be their fairy godmother. As with most things, I entered this role thinking I could really help others and make a difference in their lives. Little did I realize how deeply my life would be impacted. I will never be the same.
I met Lauren about six weeks ago. She was a beautiful young woman who was struggling to recover from a heart transplant that didn’t seem to be taking. She was very weak and hanging on for dear life. We met to discuss her wish and she decided she wanted to go to DisneyWorld. I’ll be honest – I had little hope her doctor would allow her to go to DisneyWorld. She was barely surviving. She couldn’t hold herself up in her wheelchair, she couldn’t speak and she appeared to be miserable. A miracle happened. Within a week we had the thumbs up – Lauren and her family were going to DisneyWorld, but they had to go within the next three weeks.
My wishgranting partner and I, along with an incredible Make a Wish staff, put the plans into high gear to get her ready for DisneyWorld. By the time we had her going away party, just six days before they left, Lauren was walking with help, smiling, talking, actively involved in the party and enjoying the love of her family and friends. Nearly 100 people showed up to express their love for her and share in her wish. It was amazing to see the impact she had made on so many lives in just her short twelve years.
I saw Lauren’s family one more time before their trip – just two days before they left. Lauren looked like a completely different girl. She was laughing, engaging and full of life. She was moving around completely on her own. I told her mother that it was a miracle to see Lauren’s improvement from just three weeks before. She was so excited for her trip and she wanted to be able to walk and ride the rides while she was at DisneyWorld. Her brothers and sister were so excited to go, too! It was fun to watch them talk about what they were going to do and how they couldn’t wait to go. Her mother said, “We are going to cherish every moment.”
I thought about them often during the week. I prayed numerous times that they would have a fun time and Lauren would have the strength to enjoy the trip.
The next news I received was that the family returned home from their trip the following Tuesday evening and Lauren passed away on Friday. Just three days after having her wish come true. She was able to enjoy her trip and do everything they planned. But she took a drastic turn for the worse when they got home. My heart broke and rejoiced, all at once. It broke for the loss of such an amazing, courageous, brave young woman and family who will miss her terribly. My heart rejoiced for the chance to have known her, to see her wish come true and for her family to have lasting joyful memories of their last week together.
Lauren has forever changed my life. She has taught me that every moment is precious. Every moment is powerful. Every moment counts. This moment, right now, is all I can be sure of. It’s what I make of this moment that will matter in moments to come. Living my life to the full potential of each moment has taken on a whole new meaning. I don’t mean that I have to go 100 miles an hour every moment of every day – that’s not the point. The point is that I want to be fully immerse in the present. I want to enjoy the peace and tranquility of quiet moments. I want to embrace the excitement and thrill of energetic events. I want to envelope myself in work time. Whatever situation I find myself in, I want to live in the moment.
Thank you for sharing this moment with me. I appreciate you sharing in this journey we’re taking, the journey to fully embrace life and focus on the now. May we all be more positive, powerful and happy!
Until next time friends,