Jul 9, 2010

Chop wood like you were dying

I should be scared. I'm going to the single most dangerous place in Canada this morning - the hospital.
Hospital acquired infections are the fourth largest killer in Canada. Each year, 220,000-250,000 hospital acquired infections result in 8,000-12,000 deaths. Thirty to fifty percent of these hospital-acquired infections are preventable.
- American Journal of Infection Control, quoted in a CUPE Fact Sheet
Probably not the best reading before a rather standard hernia operation this morning. But it has reminded me of my mortality, made me hold my children a bit more tenderly, appreciate the garden grass on my feet, and drink my beautiful wife's hugs deep through my thirsty soul.

Yesterday, then, was a "live like it's the last day of your life" day. What did I do with it? Man stuff, taking care of the family and house. Chopped wood and finally rearranged the woodshed. Laid in the final irrigation line for the new garden patch. Took down the last winter storm windows (as I said, true Man stuff: procrastination.) Even if I escape the hospital danger zone I'll be unable to lift anything heavy for a month, and these are the things that would have driven me crazy looking at for a long hot impotent month.

If I were truly scared I probably would have spent even more time playing soccer with the boys and making love with my wife. But mostly it was reassuring to feel so good about my life, community, family, land, my place in the world. If I were to die unexpectedly today or any day, it would be knowing that I am living a good, blessed, meaningful, love-filled and love-giving life. I wouldn't be running around on my last day making amends or wishing "if only". I'd probably be playing cards with the family and chopping wood.

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