Yesterday morning while sitting waiting for an appointment with a doctor, I was wondering what to write about for this, the third blog on The Habit of the Glass Being Half Full.
Deep in thought it took me a moment to realize that the voice I was hearing to my left was that of an elderly man sitting next to me waiting his turn.
I turned to look at him and saw the warmest, most welcoming smile imaginable. He looked at me and said, “You don’t look like you belong here, you look the picture of health what brings you here today?
I answered that my visit was routine and, as politeness dictates, reciprocated with the same question.
He looked at me with a mischievous smile on his face and said, “Well, the doctor insists that I see him every month but my real reason for coming here is to rub his nose in it at every opportunity I get.
“You see, four years ago they told me that all the tests I had undergone revealed a form of cancer and that I should best put my affairs in order as I would most likely have less than six months to live.
“Naturally when I heard that my first reaction was a sense of devastation. But then I remembered something really important.
“Many years ago my son and daughter-in-law were killed in a tragic car accident and my wife and I were left to raise Brandon, their only child.
“Brandon’s been part of our lives ever since the day he moved into our home, barely old enough to walk. He has lived with us and has been a delightful reminder of our own son and has given us the blessed opportunity and honour of raising our own grandson.
“When they told me I didn’t have much time left I thought of Brandon. From his earliest childhood he has talked of wanting to grow up and be a doctor just like his dad. I had made him a promise many years ago that when he graduated from medical school I would buy him the gift of his choice and we would celebrate with a special dinner, catered by his favourite restaurant in our home, and dedicate the evening to his parents.
“Brandon was in his first year of medical school and four years seemed such a long way away. But, you know, a promise is a promise and I decided there and then that not only would the disease not kill me in six months but that I would live long enough to keep my promise to attend the graduation dinner and beyond that watch my grandson get married and hold my great grandchildren in my arms before I left this earth.
“That thought immediately changed my life and I became instantly doubt-free as to my survivability and the reason I’m here today is to remind the doctor that my diagnosis was better than his, and we are excitedly looking forward to that wonderful evening.
“I’m also here to thank him for all these years of support, for encouraging me to believe in myself and to believe that I could beat an unbeatable disease, and never doubting, never challenging my assertion that I would win.
“You know, this is been a wonderful learning experience for both my wife and me as it has taught us that the impossible is possible, miracles will occur, and that we do have a great deal of control over how our lives unfold.
A few minutes later he was called into the doctor’s office and some 20 minutes passed before he came out, put on his coat and on his way out the door approached me and said, “Even more good news. He doesn’t want to see me for six more months. I have to make an appointment which means I have at least six more months to live because we all know we can’t keep a doctor waiting.”
His story, his humour and his zest for life was such a powerful reminder that the more we adopt The Habit of the Glass Being Half Full into our lives the better the outcome will always be.
It sure is interesting how events in our lives are determined by the perspective we bring to them.
This wonderful man proved to me that it truly ‘ain’t over till it’s over,’ and I very much doubt that it will be over for him for many, many more years to come.
The Habit of the Glass Being Half Full – it’s not a helpful habit, it’s essential.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.