Reflections on A Life
by Rhonda Weaver
An excerpt from a novel in progress
I remember a plaque a friend of mine gave to me about 40 years ago.
I had left my very stable full-time job to pursue something less stable–writing.
I wanted to bring the fantasies and the stories in my head into the world.
It was such a need at that time that my friend, being a great supportive
friend, gave me a plaque. It was one of those, “If I had my life to live over…”
kinds of things. It was supposedly written by a 96-year-old women reflecting
on her life. There were three paragraphs and each paragraph began with, “If I
had my life to live over I would…”
Some of the things the author would do if she had her life to live over again included running barefoot somewhere or traveling more. As I sit in my comfortable recliner with my cat, Lady Marmalade, on my lap, I can’t help think of that plaque. It was supposed to inspire its readers to live life to the fullest, but it always made me feel bad because there were some things that I didn’t care to do and some that I couldn’t physically do.
Now that I am 67 years old and the cancer has decided to reappear, I can’t help but think about that plaque and wonder if I had my life to live over, what would I do differently? Now that I am feeling close to the end of my life, was my life a life worth living?
I have been and continue to feel spiritually bankrupt. When I think of death, I think of eternal darkness. I think of not knowing life the way I had known it. All of my beliefs, desires and consciousness gone. I will never be a person again. I will never feel feelings again and it scares the crap out of me.
I look to the clock. I have been sitting in this recliner for 6 hours. I had turned the TV off at midnight and had meant to go to bed, but the draw of the dark and the comfort of the recliner made it difficult to move on. There’s also something about sitting in the stillness of the late evening early morning that conjures up the darkest of thoughts like leaving this life and Lady Marmalade. I thought I had come to terms with where I was at this point in my short existence, but maybe I need to go back. Back to the beginning of my life to prepare for the end of it.