A few years ago I had a personal trainer who’d served as a special operations Force RECONN Marine. To describe him as intense would be an understatement. He was tough and somewhat humorless, but definitely an excellent fitness coach. During one session he drastically increased the weight I was supposed to lift. When I complained, he glared at me, “SUCK IT UP! You can do this! You’re a healthy man! NEVER take your good health for granted!”
Not one to argue with a special ops Marine, I “sucked it up” and summoned the energy to finish the set. Although my self-esteem was a tad singed he was right. Never take good health for granted.
Being healthy is more than how many times you can bench press weights; it’s a state of overall physical and mental wellbeing. Maintaining this wellbeing takes commitment and work. It’s worth it because good health enables us to enjoy our lives and the people we love.
To paraphrase a Hindu saying, “Life is precious and as fragile as a drop of dew on the petal of a flower.” It’s empowering to feel great physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. When you’re healthy, it’s easy to take good health for granted. It’s even easier to take the lives of our loved ones for granted when they’re healthy.
My friend Susan, whom I’d known since I was a kid, was energetic, full of life and brought laughter everywhere she went. She was one of those friends who even if I hadn’t seen her in years, it felt like just yesterday since we last met. She loved rock n roll, Halloween and helping people. Susan served as a nurse and specialized in treating terminally ill people. To envision her think Stevie Nicks meets Morticia Addams with a side of Mother Theresa.
Throughout her career Susan cared for thousands of terminally ill people. She treated each one with compassion, dignity and love during their final days of physical life. But there was more to Susan than just caring, there was something mystical, even magical about her. This was particularly apparent with one of her patients, a young man with only hours to live. He was terrified of dying alone and when Susan was called to an emergency for another patient he begged her not to leave.
“Don’t worry—I’ll be right back,” she replied and said a prayer he wouldn’t be alone.
When Susan returned twenty minutes later this frail young man smiled faintly and through tears whispered, “I wasn’t afraid because when you turned to leave—I saw an angel come out of your back and sit on my bed.”
A miracle is an amazing, unexpected and wondrous event that defies logical explanation. Albert Einstein said, “There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
A miracle is also what we pray for during grim and hopeless situations when we feel powerless against overwhelming odds. Nothing makes you feel more powerless than watching someone you love who is dying from a terminal condition and you’re not able to do anything about it.
Susan never took good health for granted because for years she struggled with her own serious health conditions. Eventually these insidious diseases overwhelmed the mortal body of this Earth Angel.
Her brother Peter told me, “In those final weeks, when Susan was unresponsive in a coma, we were by her side telling her how much we loved her. We prayed for a miracle.
We waited for that miracle. And when Susan died, we asked ourselves WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR MIRACLE?
But little did we know—God had already given us our miracle. It had been there all along. Susan’s life was that miracle. That she was born—that she was part of our lives—that she loved us and we loved her—Susan was our miracle.”
Truly, life is precious and as fragile as a drop of dew on the petal of a flower. That is why good health is a precious gift and the people we love are the Miracles in our Midst.
~Mark Anthony (originally published in Best Holistic Life Magazine)