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Reflections – Taken at Green Cay Nature Center 2008

After two long weeks I sat back to reflect on life today.  Sometimes we get so caught up in ourselves or our family that we really don’t know what is going on outside our own little “world”.  Life keeps us running: work, family, carpools, and other commitments.   We spend so much time working and building our “wealth” for ourselves or our families that we forget what is truly the MOST important.- OUR HEALTH.

Without our health – we truly have nothing.  No amount of money or material possession can possibly be worth more than our health. All the money in the bank, a garage full of fancy cars, multiple homes, jewelry, clothing  and lavish vacations can never replace the time you spend here on earth  making memories with your loved ones.

Yes, this may be obvious but honestly how many of you really think about it? UNTIL you are forced to?  While this has always been a thought in the back of my head, the ugly truth of it really didn’t hit home until today when I had a chance to think about the past two weeks.

Last week I spent some time in Austin, TX on business.  I was fortunate enough to have the time to meet up with two of my college sorority sisters after 19 years.  It was great to see both of them. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed college life.  As we caught up with each other it was evident that the importance of health was an underlying theme. For my old roommate it was her sister-in-law, a mother  dying of cancer. For my other friend, I learned that it is she who is 3 years cancer free. (Yay!) She is now working incredibly hard to rebuild her life after cancer as well as losing everything in hurricane Irene and moving to a new city without a job or a place to live.

Sadly, my old roommate’s sister-in-law passed a few days after I returned from my trip.  It breaks my heart to think of her son growing up with out his mother.  I do hope that even though he is so young that he retains some special memories of her. Health is everything.

My other friend is inspirational.  She fought cancer essentially alone – because “friends” of hers really weren’t true friends. Once she was sick they disappeared. She picked herself up and moved on.  I really don’t understand how people can be so heartless. Again, Health is everything.

Today, as I sat in my daughters dance class one of the mothers told me that after finishing 2 years of treatment and a double mastectomy 7 months ago, her cancer has returned and it is aggressive  It took all the strength I had not to cry right there. I don’t know how she was holding it together. The next few months are going to be hell for her and her family – it is just not fair. Health is Everything.

While it was these three stories that really hit me over the past two weeks, sadly there are more that have touched close to home recently.  I can’t stop thinking about my cousin’s daughter (not even 2) diagnosed with Leukemia in November 2011 or my son’s classmate age 11 diagnosed 6 months ago also with Leukemia. Not to mention my colleague Anne who passed this November of cancer and left behind her 5 year old daughter. Health is everything.

These real life stories really made me think about how lucky and blessed I have been this far. As much as we strive to climb the corporate ladder, earn more “wealth” and collect material possessions none of it means anything if you or your loved ones are sick.  Health is everything.

You may think that wealth is money, but true wealth is the company, companionship, love and protection you give and get from others.  It is being able to share laughs, tears and create lasting memories.   All of this is worth far more than any dollar you can earn.  You can’t participate with out good health.

Take a moment to think.. When was the last time you had a check up?  How long have you left that ailment unchecked? What are you waiting for? Work can wait…. your health can not.

Be sure to make your mark on this world. You only live once, but remember  a memory can last forever – create them with others.