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A life worth living

By Jessica Martin
On February 22, 2012

I think the phrase ‘live life to the fullest' is one of the most overused phrases in the history of forever.

OK, so I might be exaggerating a little bit, but I have to admit I have rolled my eyes a time or two when people have used that phrase on me.

However, this week was a reminder of why we should live life to the fullest, and I thought that I would share the experience with you in hope that you have the same realization as me.

I have a friend who is in her late 20s whom I have been friends with for nearly 10 years now. She just got married less than a year ago and is the epitome of someone in good health. Her father is a pediatrician, and she's always made sure she eats right and exercises.

Well, during one of my classes I was surfing Facebook – I'm not afraid to admit it because we all know we do it at one point or another – when I saw that a mutual friend had posted something about my friend. She had moved to Kentucky with her new husband this past fall and we had sort of lost touch and, I thought I'd read up on it to see what was going on.

The mutual friend went on to talk about how my friend had suffered a stroke the night before, which also happened to be her birthday. Her left side was paralyzed, her speech was slurred and she was in an ICU unit. I remember staring at my computer screen for a moment, completely dumbfounded. She's so young, and to have a stroke that sounded rather severe at her age could be completely life-changing.

However, because of the swiftness with which her husband realized the issue and called 911 and their close vicinity to a hospital, which specializes in strokes, my friend was able to receive the medication that she needed, and within an hour was already regaining mobility and her speech was improving.

They found out later that she had a hole in her heart that she passed a blood clot through, causing the stroke. However, despite the fact that the stroke affected a good bit of the right side of her brain, my friend was able to go home just two days later – showing no signs of ever having a stroke.

We never know when our last day is. You could be the healthiest person on the planet who eats all of your fruits and vegetables, never touches a fatty starch or simple carb, runs 3 miles per day, and you could still drop dead in the next 30 seconds.  

We don't have a biological clock ticking above our heads telling us when we're going to die, and I honestly don't think I ever want to know. I always want to live my life to its fullest potential, knowing good and well that when my time comes people will know that I did everything I could in this life.  And I hope the same for you as well.

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