Life’s too short, so live it up

By Nina Scimenes
March 25, 2004

Scott Fobes

Enjoying the simple things in life is much easier to do when that is all you have. For the past few months my grandfather has been constricted to a hospital bed and he helped me appreciate life more than ever before.

My grandfather lived a very healthy life up until recently. A tumor was found on his brain, and after undergoing a biopsy, he was left paralyzed on the left side of his body. Thankfully he is still coherent and can recognize and communicate with family members and friends. Family is something that he values the most because he has five children and seven grandchildren.

All of us are helping him live his last wishes before his brain cancer wins the battle he has been fighting.

Stressing what a healthy life he had before just over two months ago, he has helped me to realize how to get the most out of life. He is a 73-year-old man who would go to the gym every night after work and take part in a spinning or yoga class. He never had to take medication a day in his life. He had a healthy heart, and was in the best shape for his age. This just goes to prove that cancer can strike anyone at anytime, so there is no better time than now to do what you want in life.

Even in the intensive care unit after his brain surgery he was determined to get better. His determination, will to live and battle with his brain tumor is so inspiring. As his granddaughter, I am able to feel his pain because I know how much he enjoyed life at its fullest. Now that he cannot live life to the fullest, it has encouraged me to do so. My grandmother tells me, “Do what you can when you can, because when you can’t, you can’t.” Basically, take advantage of what you have and don’t be afraid to do what makes you happy.

Just recently my grandpa has been talking about all the things he wish we had done. He wants to go on a vacation with the entire family. He said the wants to do it before it’s too late. My first response to that comment was, “isn’t it already too late.” He wants to go to Vermont and enjoy the peaceful scenery with all five of his children and grandchildren. We would have to make special arrangements to transporting him in his hospital bed. I couldn’t really imagine it being possible, but anything is possible if you try. Putting myself in his shoes, I would want my family to help me fulfill my last wishes.

A lot of people may not have the same optimistic views of such a sad, rude awakening. The situation of watching someone you love suffer is horrible, but knowing that he still has a positive attitude is very heart warming. It can serve as a wake up call to take some time out and evaluate your own life. What things in life make you happiest? What is something that you would like to accomplish with your life? Tomorrow is never a guarantee so be sure to embrace each day as a gift and make the most of it. As James Dean says it best, “Dream as if you’ll live forever, and live as if you’ll die tomorrow.”

Posted to the web by Marisa Gallelli

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Nina Scimenes

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