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CATTLE TODAY

IT'S THE PITTS -- EVERY DAY IS A GIFT

by: Lee Pitts

So, you had a bad day? Perhaps your favorite team lost, your dog tinkled on the rug or you had a fight with someone you love. Maybe a hacker stole your identity, the price of gas went up again, your teenage son won't work and neither will your TV.

I have a couple dear friends who would love to have such a good day.

Just a few months ago my good friend Andy was living large. Business was great, he had a new son and all the world was his, just for the conquering. Now he's got a fresh scar dividing his body in half and his days are occupied with doctors, chemo and radiation. One day he was fine and the next day he had pancreatic cancer.

Steve's life hasn't been a picnic lately either. First it was prostate cancer, then leukemia and now the doctors are deciding whether to cut his nose off.

Every time I call Andy or Steve and ask how they are doing they both reply, “Great!” They seem to be more worried about the other guy. Never once have I heard them complain. Some folks might say they are in denial. I call it courage.

And you think you got problems?

Are you depressed about how you look? Don't like your fat belly or what the ravages of age have done to your face? How would you like to have two hoses coming out of your gut or a face that doctors like to whittle on?

Amidst an embarrassment of riches, do you toss and turn at night worried about your portfolio, 401K or bank balance? How'd you like to only sleep for two hours at a time, if that? What if you had all the money in the world and still didn't have enough to make the pain go away or to buy more time on the clock?

Perhaps you're mad because someone much less deserving of you got promoted and you didn't. You think life is fair? What did my good buddies ever do in their exemplary lives to deserve the BIG C? You feel sorry for yourself because you hate your job? What if you were unable to work at a job you love? You're mad because someone cut you off on the freeway or your team got cheated out of the playoffs? How'd you like to get cheated out of life itself?

Do you spend your life creating minor emergencies for yourself? Worried about global warming or endangered species? What if you were the endangered one?

Do you get mad at your spouse when they do little things that irritate you? What if they were no longer there to get under your skin and inside your heart?

Do you obsess about wearing the latest styles? Are you afraid of not being fashionable? How would you like to spend your days in your loosest fitting pajamas because the mere touch of material on skin causes you to wince?

Are you afraid that there are not enough hours in the day for your kid's soccer, ballet, karate and Little League? How'd you like to lay awake at nights wondering if you'll be there to see your kid go to kindergarten or graduate from high school?

I too have wondered if I am merely waiting in heaven's waiting room before the long nap. I got sick 15 years ago and my life changed forever. For the better, I might add. Sure, I have to sleep in a chair and the pain jolts me awake more regular than any alarm clock ever did. But I'm alive! I mean really ALIVE. How many of you can say the same thing?

I don't know why life picks on certain people but I think it happens to remind everyone else that this life is for living and we'd best get to it. I say this in all sincerity, the last 15 years I've been sick have been the best years of my life. You see, in return for all the pain and despair, Andy, Steve and I have been let in on a little secret that most people never discover. We know that every day we wake up is going to be the best day in the history of the world. And tomorrow will be even better.

Love your life, my friends. Every day is a gift.

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