Friday, July 25, 2008

Randy Pausch

I am sad to report that Randy Pausch died today. If you aren't already familiar with him, Randy was a college professor who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer. It quickly became obvious that it was a fatal case. He was asked to give a "Last Lecture". His last lecture was such a big hit that he became an almost instant celebrity. I'm sure that he appeared on many shows, but my first brush with him was on Oprah.

He was a truly inspirational, great man. He wrote a book entitled "The Last Lecture". My mother let me borrow her copy, and I cried all the way through it.

I felt so terrible for the hand that was dealt him, and almost worse for his wife and children. On the other hand, he did have a good point- he at least was given warning that he was going to die, and he was able to prepare. His wife was able to prepare. He was able to leave a bit of a legacy to his kids, so they would get a pretty good feel for what their daddy was like. Cancer is an excruciatingly painful way to go, but at least you get the chance to say good-bye and have last requests carried out. Someone hit by a drunk driver doesn't get that chance. It's hard to say which way is the better way to go. Part of me doesn't want to suffer, or to make loved ones endure watching me in pain, but I would also like to be able to say good-bye.

I guess the only way to really make sure you're ok is to live like you were dying. (sorry Tim McGraw). I mean, you have to do that within reasonable bounds. If I had a month to live, I think I'd quit my job, and I wouldn't worry much about going to the gym or eating healthy. (House cleaning- Hmmmm. I hate cleaning the house with a white hot passion, but I wouldn't want to make my family have to clean through a month of grime. I'll get back to you on what I would do on the housekeeping. Maybe I'd hire a cleaning service.... )

This is obviously not a healthy way to live life. But I think it's important to make sure that you are in a good, peaceful place with relationships. Don't leave someone with harsh words. Try to resolve conflicts. I don't have to let people walk all over me, or allow toxic people in my life, but make sure that if something did happen to me, I would be happy with what people would have as their last memory of me.

Rest in Peace Randy. May God be with your family so that they can feel His love and comfort during this difficult time. You truly were an inspiration to millions, and I think you probably dramatically changed more than a few lives.

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