DEAR ABBY: I'm in my 50s, have a serious heart condition -- I almost died twice -- and am living on borrowed time. My doctors know it, my family knows it, and I know it. We have talked about it, as well as my living will and organ donation. We have also discussed at length QUALITY of life, as opposed to QUANTITY of life.
Some well-meaning people, out of a mistaken sense of kindness, would like me to do nothing but vegetate. I remind them I am still alive and able to do quite a few things. Perhaps vegetating would extend my life, but what would the "cost" be? Right now I can travel, do most of my own housework, putter in the flower garden and help my husband. While I cannot lift my grandchild or run in the yard with her, I can read to her and help her with the dishes.
It is demoralizing when people refuse to listen as I try to explain quality vs. quantity of life. I know they want me to be cautious because they fear losing me. I am afraid much of the time, and am in no hurry to "meet my Maker," but when that day does come, I'll die knowing I made the best of the most precious gift there is -- life.
Abby, please ask your readers to encourage and help those with limitations to live life to the fullest. And urge your readers who are blessed with good health not to waste it, but to use this gift of life for the good of all. -- LIVING LIFE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
DEAR LIVING LIFE: I'm pleased to pass along your message. Our time on Earth is not infinite; therefore, our days should be spent the way we invest our money -- wisely.
You're a pragmatic woman. I admire your determination to suck as much of the juice out of the fruit of life as you can. Bon appetit!