Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Getting the Most Out of Life

There's No Guarantee.... so make the most of what you have!

Two who knew what it meant to live life to the fullest!
 The past week and in a half has been a whirlwind and it was over in a blink. While driving home on Sunday I realized it was just a few hours short of being a week since we got the news.... my dad was gone, his heart had stopped beating. It seemed like the entire week was less than a day.... it seemed surreal. It's amazing how with in the matter of seconds, one phone call changes your life. How quickly you are reminded life really is short, how much we truly take for granted that those we love will always be here, especially when they are healthy and full of life.

I have always known, in the back of my mind, that my parents will (most likely) die before I do. I have thought, more recently, that they are getting older. But, in my mind, I have also figured they would live long, long lives. In my mind, my dad was going to live well into his 80's. Afterall, he was in great shape, especially for having just turned 76. He was doing boot camp (see blog link below) and had more energy than I have most days. But I guess his heart decided it was tired of beating, it was time for Dad to join Austin in Heaven.

Disbelief was what everyone said they had when they heard the news. They had to read the obituary or Facebook posting two or three times to make sure their eyes weren't playing tricks. How could it be? He was "young at heart", much younger than 76, at least he looked much younger, acted much younger, even had the energy of someone much younger. He definately lived more life in 76 years than most have!

As we sorted through the plethora of photos (and I mean hundreds and hundreds of them) I realized how much he had truly done - the trips he took (both simply for fun and for volunteering his medical skills), the people he visited (friends and family), the family and friends he loved and opened his home to for meals and sometimes a place to stay - he made the most out of the hours, days, months, and years he had lived. He squeezed so much in between the long hours he worked, taking his famous cat-naps and then being ready for more.

Isn't that how we should live life? Enjoying what we have been givien and loving those around us and.... sharing what we have with others. Hmmmm..... I wonder where Austin learned his loving spirit from? I think it just may have been from the man who just joined him - his Grandpa!

Maybe we all could learn a little something about how to truly live life. Anyone who knew Austin and my dad, knows they both lived life to the fullest. They did not always do it the same way, not at all. Austin was much more of a risk-taker, a thrill seeker...... Dad not so much. He was more cautious. In other ways they did live life the same. They both loved adventure (in different ways, but adventures all the same), loved to go places. They both loved people, always willing to help others. They both left their mark on people, more than they will ever know. They both loved life.

"Sometimes I get so caught up in the flow of life that I don’t realize life is going by. We aren’t guaranteed a single moment. And I cannot guarantee that exercise will help you live longer.  (and since Arlen has been active his whole life I don’t know what extra time it may have given him). What I can guarantee is that exercise and good nutrition can help you live better, happier, healthier.  Arlen enjoyed the benefits of exercise.  He LOVED working out with his group.  And when we had to tell them today it was clear they LOVED working out with him." Jeremy Biernat - Founder of Tall Trainer Fitness Systems (Boot Camp that Dad loved!)

 Here is a link to the full blog Jeremy posted after my dad died. Check it out if you have a chance.... and then go get the most out of the life you've been given!