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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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Check the Expiration Date…Or Not

Winter is fading away, and spring is in the wind. Easter is around the corner—a beautiful celebration of the Resurrection. I wonder how Jesus felt about living such a short life. There is no doubt that he accomplished much during his time on earth, but I often wonder if he wanted to do more.

He gave us the mystery of life and taught us how to live a good, Christian life. But being very selfish, I wish he would have done one more little thing. I wish he would have put the date of our death on the bottom of one of our feet. Not how we are going to die, not the circumstance or even the time of day or night, just the date that we will cease to live on this earth.

Think about it. If you were the only one who could see that date–if you knew when you were going to die, would you live your life differently? How much would that knowledge change the decisions and choices you had to make in your life? Would you make a “bucket list” and try to do everything on it before that day? Would you be more daring? Would you go skydiving and jump out of an airplane if it wasn’t your expiration date? You wouldn’t die, so why not? Would you look at life as if it were a race and the winner was the one who did the most things before their expiration date came around? Or would you sit quietly in a field of flowers every morning, taking in the beauty of the day that is about to unfold because you knew that your time to do this was limited?

If you found the love of your life, would you compare feet to ensure you both enjoyed a long life together, or would you decide that any time together, no matter how short it might be, was worth it?

Would you marry and have children knowing that you would not be in the lives of those children for very long? Or would you go ahead and have children so you could love and enjoy them for a short time? If you had children, would you tell them when you were going to die?

Would you go to college to be educated in your passions, or would you save those years for others? Would you plan your funeral or leave the details to your loved ones? Would you make a will, or would you give your possessions to various beneficiaries with a loving conversation and a hug?

Would you select a few people who shared your interests to become your dearest and most important friends, or would you try to meet as many people as possible to experience different points of view?

How much planning would you put into your life based on your expiration date? Would you share the date with your siblings in case your parents lived longer than you? “Who’s going to take care of Mom and Dad when they get older?” Check your foot–are you going to be the long-term primary caregiver or based on the date on your foot, or would that be a moot question for you?

If you were on the verge of discovering the remedy for a horrible disease but knew you wouldn’t live long enough to finish it—would you carry on until your expiration date, or would you walk away and use the time you had left to be with your family?

If you had a job that you loved and had an expiration date past your retirement year, would you work until the mandated retirement date, or would you throw in the towel early and have a longer but underfunded retirement?

So many questions, so many options. What would you do? Would you have the nerve to pick up your foot, or would you just live life day by day, never lifting up that foot to see when you were going to leave this earth?

Would you check your expiration date…or not?

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About the Contributor
Jan Morgan-Swegle is the Editor of Cape Fear Voices.  She has been writing for CFV for almost 3 years.  She is originally from the Cleveland area and moved down to Leland 12 years ago.  She and her husband, Tony, and their dog, Dixie, enjoy sitting on the lanai listening to music and sharing wine (Dixie likes white wine but only gets two finger tips full!!)  They have 3 children and 9 grandchildren living in Cleveland, Ohio,  Charlotte, North Carolina and Lakeland, Florida.

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