This past month, my husband and I lost a dear friend to cancer. Our friend John was young and his battle with cancer began just ten months ago.
Throughout the years, whenever I was in John’s presence, I always thought about one of my favorite quotes by the poet Hafiz, “Troubled? Then stay with me, for I am not.” John’s smile, laugh and energy were pure joy. A joy that was contagious. And somehow, being in his presence really seemed to make all troubles and worries fade away.
The last time I saw John I gave him a copy of The Book of Awakening written by Mark Nepo, a cancer survivor. The book is meant to be read daily with each page being marked with a certain date. At John’s service, his husband told me that he is still reading the book and knowing that, I was eager to read the passage for May 4th, the day John passed away. These are the words from that day:
Rise and enter this day as if it is your first and your last.
Now, drop all that is not necessary.
What is amazing to me is that these words mirror how John lived. Having reflected about the beautiful way in which John conducted his life and the wisdom contained in the above words, here are my hopes and dreams for all of us who are graced with time on this Earth:
May we rise and greet each day with gratitude and enthusiasm.
May we bring our best selves to each and every moment we encounter.
May we learn how to truly let go of all that is not serving us.
May we consciously create a life where we spend time on activities that bring us fulfillment and with people that nurture our souls.
May we always be our true, authentic selves.
And may we bring to life the kind of joy that is so contagious it makes peoples’ troubles melt away.