Before I Die…

It was a dreary day in Asheville, NC when I stumbled across this gem in the middle of downtown. The wall was cleverly concealing a construction area inviting passersby to reflect and write their stories of things they want to do before exiting this earth.

The responses ranged from the basics: travel, see Clemson win a National Championship, etc., to the more personal, ‘marry Tina ‘and ‘tell Lisa I love her.’ Some poor guy expressed direct interest in copulating with as many females as possible. There is one in every crowd I guess…I hope that guy finds what he’s looking for.

I’ve come to learn the project was created by Candy Chang who created the first board in New Orleans after experiencing a personal loss. I understand similar installations have been made throughout the world, but this was the first I’d ever seen. I loved it. I smiled as I stood and read each entry – I am fascinated by the human heart, the human spirit.

Naturally I began to turn the focus on me. What would my response be on that board? I have a friend, someone special to me who had a near-death experience. If you took the facts of his circumstances at face-value, he should be dead right now. But for whatever unexplained reason, he’s not.  It is nothing short of a miracle. His story reminds me that there are no guarantees in life except of course that we will die.

Miraculous second chances happen, but they don’t come often. Unless you’re like my friend, you only get one shot at this thing. The way I look at it, every new day is my second chance. I have a choice to do it differently each time the sun comes up.

Am I living my best life? Am I bringing to this earth all that I was created to bring? Am I doing what I want to do? Am I loving who I want to love? If not, what is holding me back?

I’m not sure all of this would fit on the board, but my basic answer to the question would read something like this…

Before I die I want to love more and fear less. I want to learn to meet people where they are and love them as best I can. I want to know others and be known by them. Not in an effort to be liked, but in an attempt to add value and hope so that I can be a positive presence in someone’s journey just because I was a part of it. I want to be open enough to let others do the same for me.

What about you? 

How would you answer the question?

Before I die I want to…