Love Your Family as if You Will Die Today

One of my favorite quotes is from James Dean. I love the quote so much that it hangs (with a photo of him) in my den. You can see it and other cool quotes in a previous article (here).

“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.”
— James Dean (2/8/31 – 9/30/55)

 

This quote holds so much power, and it’s sort of ironic that it came from a man who died at the very young age of twenty-four. A man who lived his life to the fullest and died young. We should all be so lucky!

In some ways I feel that I’ve been blessed by having to live with HIV. I know some of you are going, “What??” Well, allow me to explain. When I was nineteen, my family doctor told me that I had fewer than two years to live. As a teenager, that put some things into perspective! Immediately I realized all that I had and all that I would lose. Since that day, I have spent every moment realizing it could be my last. For that reason, I honestly think it is cool that I became infected and was faced with this reality.

That said, I would certainly much rather not be HIV+ and lead a more “normal” life… However, I consider myself lucky none-the-less. I sincerely mean that… I consider myself lucky!

Where am I going with this? You ask. Well let me tell you.

You guys have an opportunity here… Use me! I mean it. Live through my eyes for a moment. Simply imagine that you were told by your doctor that you had less than a month to live. Sincerely think this and focus on it for a moment. How would that make you feel? After the momentary freakout, wouldn’t you start to assess your life? Wouldn’t you look at how you could tie up your loose ends? Of course you would! You know what else you would do?? You would spend time with those most important to you. You would honor them with love and shower them with hugs and kisses. You would treat them the way they aught (and deserve) to be treated. You would tell them how important they are to you. You would share with them. You would cry with them. You would live those last few weeks by giving them praise and words of encouragement. As your final days crept up, you would tell them over-and-over again how much you love them.

Guess what…

You don’t have to be dying to do any of those things.

Cherish your family!

Love Your Family As If You Will Die Today

For tomorrow you may be gone…

Posted with love,
Vaughn

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About Vaughn Ripley

Vaughn is a happily married daddy, author, and CIO. He is an HIV+ hemophiliac, and is one of the longest surviving HIV+ people in the universe.
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Follow Vaughn on Twitter: @vripley
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Read his personal blog: HIVLongevity.com
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Comments

  1. Cousin Chuck says:

    My man, I love the use of this family photo from the summer! It was such a great trip! You guys want to meet up in Sandusky?

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