“People have died.” ~ Sherlock
“That’s what people DO!” ~ Moriarty
What would you do if you had only six months left to live? This is a question that I’ve seen around a lot, but I’ve never found a satisfying reply and I’ve never answered it myself. So now I’m going to turn that around.
Some of you may recognize the title of this post as the title of a song by Tim McGraw. That’s because song titles also make great blog post titles. I like this song, and it stimulates thought, so I’m going to put it at the end of the post if I can figure out how.
If today I went to the hospital and found out that I have only six months to live, I’ll tell you what I would do. Probably come home and lie in bed for awhile thinking things over. I wouldn’t cry, because the realization hasn’t set in yet. So I’ll do that for, maybe, ten or fifteen minutes, then I’ll get bored and get up and play Manaala (my guitar) for a little while. I’ll probably spend the rest of the day playing my instruments and go to bed with aching fingers, but hey, it’s worth it. (We’re assuming that whatever is making me die in six months isn’t going to affect my athleticism or capabilities in any way. But then, I’m not sure what I could be dying from.) Sometime during the day I’ll go buy a 183-piece puzzle to count down the days until my untimely demise (it’ll kill some time because it’s gonna be a bit difficult to find an 183-piece puzzle).
Tomorrow I’ll get up at 7 a.m., but not because I want to or because I’m trying to do everything I can fit in before I die. It’s because I’m going to my grandma’s house tomorrow where my cousins from Alaska are spending June and July, and we have to leave by 7:30 to make it to my other cousin’s baseball game. I’ll watch the game, talking to my cousins about how suckish I am at sports, stay over at my grandma’s until Tuesday, and hopefully not get special treatment, because Mom would have called Grandma as soon as she knew that I have a limited time left. Sometime over the weekend I’ll go and buy a few bricks of cheese, which I will whittle with my cousins because I’ve always wanted to whittle something out of cheese (who doesn’t?).
But that’s not all. During these two months, we will have oodles of fun. We will go swimming, go to the beach, camping, biking, just like every other year…but now we’ll add some other fun stuff. We always tie-dye when my cousins come down, but this time it’ll be a little different. We’ll tie-dye all right, but this time we’ll iron on the word “LIFE” to our shirts. We’ll then head into town, purchase some lemons, and start handing them out on street corners. Every fifteen minutes or so we’ll go to a different street corner to spread the zest to other people and to throw the police off our trail.
As well as that, we’ll do the whole pool-in-the-back-of-a-truck-with-a-tarp thing, which I’m sure you’ve seen online. We might even try it with hay bales if we can find a tarp big enough. If we do that, we’ll take a picture of us doing the dead man’s float all in a line. Then we’ll go to the store and buy Bugles (those awesome chips that taste kinda like Fritos) and a watermelon (we should have gotten all this when we bought the lemons). We’ll bring ’em home and carve the watermelon to look like the Death Star while we’re waiting for the sun to go down. And when that red ball of fire touches the horizon we’ll take them Bugles and go outside and pretend to be warewolves. I can imagine it won’t be easy to howl at the moon without them falling out of our mouths, but I bet we’ll make it work.
At the end of July, when my cousins return to their northern abode, I’ll make plans and head out as soon as possible to my “dream destination”: Nashville, Tennessee. There, I will find the Lightswitches. And guess what I will do with Anthem Lights and their friends? First of all, we’ll go to the park and put on a serious show, a freebie for the Nashvillian Lightbulbs. Some karaoke maybe. Who knows? I’ll make sure that I get to hear Chad say the word “controversial” sometime during my stay, preferably in a British accent, but I mustn’t ask too much.
I’ll stick around there for about two months so’s I can get to know the Switches real well. Joey and I will have a good deal of fun during this time. First, we’ll cruise downtown and make up jingles for all the stores we pass, just to get the creative juices flowing. After that, we’ll find a furniture store and play some hide-and-seek. We’ll hide in one of the closets displayed there and when someone walks by, we’ll step out and say, “Hey! Dude, we’re back from Narnia!” And then we’ll compile photo evidence suggesting an adventure that didn’t really happen.
That is the kind of fun you have with Joey. The kind of fun you have with Caleb is a little bit different. First of all, because we both love N*SYNC, we’ll make a cover of “I Don’t Wanna Spend One More Christmas Without You” using only a tambourine. That seriousness over, we’ll dress up like superheroes (Kelsey is included in all these plans, of course) and stop petty crimes like littering and jaywalking.
Then I’ll have to spend a little time with Charis, because we’ve got something important we’ve got to get done. We’ll take pictures of ourselves jumping in midair and photoshop it into the cover of High School Musical.
Finally, as my farewell, I’ll set up a fort in the living room and make every effort to prepare. I’ll roll up socks and collect plastic weapons. Then I’ll invite the Switches over, one by one, and recruit a few to my side. When the last of them arrive, we’ll have a huge battle, good versus good, an epic story of betrayal.
It should be nearing October now, and I’m heading back to Oregon. And what do you think I’m gonna do when I get there? You guessed it. It’s time to play Hunger Games with my friends. Every now and then a couple of friends of mine have a party at their house. When I arrive, instead of knocking at the door, I’ll yell, “LET THE LORD OF THE BLACK LAND COME FORTH! LET JUSTICE BE DONE UPON HIM!” (I know my friends real well, you see.) I’ll bring some long wooden polls, with which we can play capture the flag Jedi-style. While we’re inside, I’ll walk over to the window, my eyes will widen, and I will drop whatever I’m holding and spin to face my friends. Dramatically I’ll cry, “The beacons are lit! The beacons are lit! Gondor calls for aid!” and then run screaming out of the house.
Considering I have only two months left, I’m going to spend them getting to know everything I don’t already know about my friends. I will sneak into my best friend’s house and draw stormtrooper faces on all their eggs (or Ewoks, if the eggs are brown). I’ll invite multiple friends over individually to watch Pirates of the Caribbean 2. When the part comes where Jack takes a bite out of the toe necklace, I’ll turn to the current friend with all seriousness and say, “Silly Jack, they’re no good dry.” I will then take a picture of my friend’s response and post them on Facebook.
I’ll continue to play volleyball on Tuesdays as long as I still live. Quite often after we play, we’ll stand around and talk for a little while. I’ll wait for the opportune moment, and when someone says something specific, an opinion or something, I’ll say with horror, “You’re one of THEM!!!” I’ll make for the door with all haste, pretend to trip over a chair, and crawl outside.
I have one friend with which many of my plans will work, but I’ll only mention two at the moment, because this is getting rather long. I’ll buy some bobbleheads, which we will shoot with airsoft guns. Then we shall go out to eat somewhere, and we’ll tape pictures of superheroes, mystical creatures, mutants, and characters from awesome movies on ketchup and mustard bottles and salt and pepper shakers. We will then engage in a heated discussion about which character would be most likely to triumph over the others in a full-scale battle.
That is not nearly all the exciting things I’ve planned to do with my friends at some point during my lifetime, but I have far too many to bring up here. I will spend my last six months living for God as much as I am able. I will become a light for Him that everyone around me will be able to see, while still having the time of my life. It may only be six months, but it would be a bloody brilliant six months.