Friday, March 21, 2008

Last Lecture

I watched a neat video on You Tube which may be considered lengthy but I really like this guy's concept. He is a professor from Carnegie Mellon University and has found out that he has pancreatic cancer. He decided to give one last lecture to enlighten his students. The lecture has been rolling around the internet and has been affecting a much larger audience than the one in the lecture hall. His name is Randy Pausch and it makes me ponder what would my last lecture be. This video came into my awareness (thanks Chelahnnhe!) after my beloved sister Alanna lost her battle with cancer and this concept of a last lecture is synergistic with an epiphany I had on my way to the hospital to visit her before she died.

A song came on the radio as I was driving Alanna's car in New Mexico. The song was upbeat, and very insightful. I instantly thought of Alanna and could hear her saying many or all of these things- in essence her last lecture. It became apparent that this song would be a good one to share with others while we remember Alanna at the memorial next Saturday. Funny thing is that all I could remember about the lyrics were the words: kiss husband, take chances. Lord knows she lived these lyrics in many ways:

Point Of Grace - How You LiveFrom the album How You Live
Wake up to the sunlight with your windows open
Don't hold in your anger or leave things unspoken
Wear your red dress, use your good dishes
Make a big mess and make lots of wishes
And have what you want, but want what you have
And don't spend your life looking back
Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances and let it all out
'Cause you won't regret it
Looking back from where you have been
'Cause it's not who you knew
And it's not what you did
It's how you live
So go to the ballgames and go to the ballet
And go see your folks more than just on the holidays
Kiss all your children, dance with your wife
Tell your husband you love him every night
Don't run from the truth 'cause you can't get away, no
Face it and you'll be okay
Oh, wherever you are and wherever you've been
Now is the time to begin
So give to the needy, and pray for the grieving
Even when you don't think that you can
'Cause all that you do is bound to come back to you
So think of your fellow man
And make peace with God, and make peace with yourself
'Cause in the end, there's nobody else

Lastly, if you think of things that you would consider saying in your "last lecture" I would like to hear them. Leave a comment if you care to. I think there is a lot of wisdom, humor and stories we can benefit from- while we are living. It doesn't have to be fancy; whatever comes to mind will do.


Frank said...

I have no idea what I would want to say in such a lecture. But I'd be more concerned about not having done what I wanted to do, by then. I guess God always has a different plan than what we think we can give to this world, but I would love it if they were one and the same, somehow!

Katy said...

Hi Erin,
I found your blog when I was looking for information on Alanna..
Katy from back in the APO days.
I posted something similar on my blog. So many thoughts have been running through my head recently, hard to put them all down.
I'll see you Sat.
I'm looking forward to seeing all the APO people, Lee said we'll be doing some service. Can't wait.

Erin said...

So good to hear from you. And, it was wonderful to give you a squeeze on Saturday. Don't be a stranger. I am looking forward to digging into your blog.