Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Review of "The Last Lecture"

I finished The Last Lecture on Sunday evening. I cried a lot. It is a sad book. It especially hit home that Randy Pausch, the author who is terminally diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, is still alive and still thinking of the issues that he wrote about. The book is not yet the guide and legacy that he is leaving to his three kids.

On the day Randy does succumb to the disease, I imagine I'll be needing some tissues again. His story struck close to home for me because thoughts of my father kept coming to mind. The book raised some questions to me about if one had a choice, how would you check out of this world? It is a little bit of a philosophical debate that rolls around and I have been debating it with myself.
If you could be given a year to live and in that time have the opportunity to tell everyone goodbye would you take it? Or is it best to leave this earth suddenly, unexpected and not have your family and friends struggle with the knowledge of your imminent demise?
This is tough for me to even type. So I will keep it short. But, I am curious what you (my faithful blog readers) would choose. Or is this to hard a topic to even think of?

My father would have probably not written a book and given a "Last Lecture." But, he would have had a lot to say. When my grandmother died months before my father passed from a failed heart surgery, he took me into his office and sat me at the computer. He explained his plans for his finances if he should pass away. I was just looking at him like, c'mon Dad! I had no interest and didn't want to discuss it. He was not in failing health (from what we all knew). Plus, I didn't agree with what he was doing with his money (but that's a very long story).

My Dad drove me to the airport on the last day that I saw him alive. It was super early in the morning. But, yet we were both wide awake and having such a deep conversation about life. He didn't want me to leave and I really didn't want to go (although I was missing Norma and the baby very much). The last big hug that we shared is something I will always have from him. But, I never in my wildest imagination thought that was the last time we would hug.

Sometimes I feel cheated. But, mostly I feel like I have to appreciate what I had. To sit and complain or feel as if you were cheated doesn't do anyone any good.

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
--Randy Pausch

I am keeping Randy and his family in my thoughts and hoping that they have every opportunity to say a very long goodbye.

This is a must read book if you consider yourself a human being.

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