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COMMENTARY THE WORD

It’s not where you are that’s important…

By Gary W Moore

I have always looked at the thought of a “bucket list” in a negative light. The idea that I’d want to begin compiling a list of things I wanted to do before I die just seemed … well … negative.

This week I received an email from a reader saying, “I’ve been following your cancer journey through your column and social media with great interest. I’m on a similar health path and I’m wondering what’s on your bucket list to do before it all ends.”

I began responding that my intentions are aligned with my hopes, plan, and actions and that I’m not expecting nor planning on dying from this cancer. But I fell asleep last night and awoke feeling differently and realized that I’ve already aligned my intentions on a partial bucket list, and it may be fun to compose one.

First, from the moment of my cancer diagnosis, my family, close friends, and I have come together and consciously decided to be more deliberate about being together. Arlene and I have spent more time with our children and grandchildren over the last year than we have on the last five years and plan even more.

I have two incredible sisters and brothers-in-law and once again, I’ve seen them more often this year and plan to do even more. I’ve seen friends I haven’t seen in forty years. It’s really been a beautiful year of seeing loved ones and catching up. My life has been dominated by being with those I love.

But what else? My mind swirled all night with a combination of things I’ve seen and done and want to do again, and things I’ve never seen nor done. My list may be passive … no jumping out of airplanes or alligator wrestling … yet things I want to experience.

In the things I want to do again group … I want to visit San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio is probably my favorite place on the globe … history, music, food … I find it all alluring. I’ve been there dozens of times but want to go again. I want to dine on fajitas, with a margarita and listen to live mariachi music played table-side with friends and family at Market Square. After dinner, we’ll stroll by the Alamo and I’ll ramble on about my life-long fascination with Texas history. I love Texas. I love the Texas attitude. And we’ll end the night listening to George Straight singing “I’ll be Somewhere Down in Texas if you’re looking for me” …on a jukebox at the original Lone Star Cafe.

I remember the first moment we parked our motor home … I am guessing 1987 or so … taking the hands of my little family, walking up the long walkway and seeing Mount Rushmore for the first time. It was an unexpected breath-taking experience. I think I need to see it again. Not because I’m dying … I’m not … but just because I want to see it again.

I have two books burning inside of me that I feel driven to finish and another that is finished that my agent is seeking a publishing deal. I’m also thinking about a simple book that’s a compilation of a few of my columns.

I also find that I want to spend more time talking with and listening to God through my prayers. As time passes, I’m understanding how important this is to my attitude, optimism, and mental well-being.

Those are my must do’s. In the category of things not required but I’d love to do is visit the Holy Land. It’s a long trip. If we can make it happen, great, but no regrets if not.

My list is short and simple. Really, all I want is time with family and friends. I’ve already travelled the world and realize my new life philosophy can be summed up by the following simple statement of truth.

“It’s not where you are that’s important, but who you are with.” 

If I can spend the rest of my life, anywhere, place or time, being with those I love and those who love me in return, I’ll be deliriously happy. 

What could be more important?

Submitted by Gary W. Moore,  a freelance columnist, speaker, and author of three books including the award-winning, critically acclaimed, “Playing with the Enemy.” Follow Gary on Twitter @GaryWMoore721 and at www.garywmoore.com

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