Life can be confusing under the best of circumstances. The difficulties usually lie quietly in the words we choose to communicate, as ideas and thoughts can become muddled in the midst of single words and sentences. My wish is to explain, or deconstruct, many words I have written, so that those reading them can understand my mindset a little bit better. Please don’t fret and worry when I write about being set free. I see and feel the anguish many of you are experiencing when reading those words. The wide eyes, the sad expression on the lips, tells more than any questions you can offer. In my mind, being set free is as far from letting go into death as a mile is from an inch. At this point in my journey, I have no intention, or need to “walk the mile”. I will gladly take my inch. So what are my intentions and thoughts behind being set free? I have ruminated, prayed, and spun in my grief to come up with the answer that fits my entirety well enough to call it my own. To be free in my mind, my heart and my soul means to be free of the expiration date slapped on my body at a time unbeknownst to me. Freedom is living in this moment and being able to see the deep green color of the pine trees with each branch and each needle taking it’s own space in time. It is seeing the glory of fall’s colors, bright reds, oranges and yellows glistening in the sun on each maple tree. It is the ability to ask myself in wonderment how can such beauty exist? It is in the ability to stand outside with my dogs and notice the scent of the wondrous wet earth beneath my feet as it sits freshly dusted by a gentle rain, and feel the moist dew on my skin. Cool and fresh it reminds me, I am still here. It is sitting quietly with my dogs and having my heart swell with love, feeling their soft skin on my hands, and feeling loved beyond the measure of words. Tomorrow may or may not come. Tomorrow may be beautiful and filled with the magic and beauty of life, or an epic struggle to simply breathe and understand pain from morning until night. Tomorrow can only count in tomorrow’s moment. I am allowing myself to live today, in the singularity of a moment, and feeling joy in that moment. This my friends is being set free. I am free of the minutia and small thoughts that my diagnosis drug me to kicking and screaming. I am free from mourning my own passing on behalf of myself and the people I love, because every minute spent on that is a minute not spent living now. I am free to live, and live well, for as long as I do, and that is the freedom I have granted myself. The best advice I can give to anyone, whether you live a long life, or short life, is to live as if every moment is so extraordinary that the end no longer matters, it is of no consequence to the here and now. Live, and love……..rejoice, because life is beautiful regardless of time.