I’m lying on a couch at Ryan & Rachel’s house. I’ve taken my shower with the special soap from the hospital. I’ll have to shower with it again in the morning. Rachel and I will rise in the dark of the night to make our way up to OHSU in time for my check in appointment at 5:30 a.m. What a trooper my sister-in-law is!

What are my thoughts less than 12 hours before surgery, you ask? Well, I’m certainly not afraid of dying. It is a simple enough procedure, though rarely done. Sure, I had to sign a paper saying I understand that I can die, buy that didn’t bother me. Up until yesterday I was more concerned with how my recovery time would go. This afternoon I actually became excited. In a couple of months I will feel better than I probably ever have. I’ll be able to sleep through the night, eat full meals without throwing up, and exercise again. I get to start with a clean slate. How many of us get that chance?

My friend often says to me, “If you don’t take care of yor body, where ya gonna live?” I don’t always listen to what he is saying because I’m trying to figure out how to defend my actions. Recently, however, I’ve been able to think about that more. When I don’t take care of my body I feel horrible. Do I want life to be miserable for me due to my own foolishness?

Life has become more precious to me. I recently attended a memorial service for a friend of mine, Pat. She and her husband were married almost 60 years. You could tell they adored each other. It was a beautiful thing to watch. Their love flowed freely to anyone who happened to be in their path. They taught me more about love than anything I have ever seen in the church. On the day of her memorial the church was packed! Many had a story to tell about her, but it really boiled down to love.

There is another family I know where the mom has been fighting cancer for over three years. I don’t know the family well at all, but I see the love between the children and I read of the tender love the husband has for his ailing wife. They don’t know it, but they have inspired me to love more passionately.

My health struggles pale in comparison. I’m not currently dying; I live in a country where I can have this simple surgery. I am glad. I look forward to being fully recovered. I look forward to seeing what my life will be like.