Lately, my wife has had some health issues. They might not be a big deal, but for all we know they may be something very serious. There are still more tests and investigations to be done before there is complete clarity and relief. More than likely, modern medicine will find some health irregularity, and then she’ll be treated and she’ll feel better, but that is only in the short term. Eventually, either she or I will come face to face with our end on Earth, and the other must face this loss as well. Eventually, one of us will somehow meet our maker. The odds are good that someday one of us may receive some news that many are not prepared for, someday some doctor may look us in the eye and say that one of us is dying, and it could be very quickly.
In any case, I began reflecting on my wife’s health. I realized that someday she might not be with me. Nobody likes to think of these things, but the fact of the matter is that those you love may be gone from you, sooner than you want them to be. You would have thought that reflecting on this might have depressed me. Quite the contrary, I chose to notice that my wife was with me today, and how lucky I am to have her. I was filled with gratitude. Completely filled with gratitude.
With this gratitude welled up inside me, I kissed my wife. This was no normal kiss. I really appreciated her, right then and there. I really, really felt it. The gratitude that I had was overwhelming. Why was it so overwhelming? Why had I forgotten how grateful I should be that she is with me? I think it is because I had lost my awareness that everything is impermanent (Click here, then here, then here). My time with her is transitory, just like everything else.
My goal as a Stoic sage is to always know that she is a gift to me. Every moment, every day I should know that our time here together is limited. As a result, I should feel grateful and relish every moment with this great gift to me. A gift that has lasted 20 years so far. I hope for many, many more years but it is only hope. How long we remain together is out of our control.
In the meantime, I will appreciate every moment with her.