That Time My Uncle Thought I Had Three Months To Live

My phone lit up three times as I sat in the theater next to Gen, taking in Friends With Benefits.

It was a message and a missed call from Katie: Call me ASAP. I left the theater, sure that someone had died. I had that sick feeling in my gut when you know you are about to hear bad news. (Or it could have been the bag of popcorn I ate. Or maybe the Junior Mints. Tuna sub? Beer? Probably the possible dead relative thing.)

"What's up?" I frantically screeched into the phone. Kate informed me that one of our uncles called her dad, freaking out that there was something wrong with my heart and that I had three months to live.

"I thought maybe you knew and didn't want to tell me," Katie said. I reassured her that I did not have three months to live. I had, indeed, gone to a cardiologist who noticed thickened heart valves and leakage in my valves, but it was fine. (For now. But can I have your heart?)

We laughed it off and hung up. I called my dad and told him to tell everyone I wasn't dying. And if I were, would I really be spending my last days seeing Friends With Benefits for the second time? (Well, maybe. It has a really good soundtrack and Mila Kunis Justin Timberlake is super hot!)

It got me thinking, though. If I had three months to live, what would I really do with my life?

What am I doing with my life now?

After I had cancer, I promised myself that I'd stick to my ONE LIFE! philosophy. But that philosophy was really just an excuse for irresponsible behavior. It could have applied to any young twentysomething in America. Oh, you woke up in Brooklyn in a strange apartment and you can't find your shoes? Oh well, ONE LIFE! Oh, you went to Paris with no money and now you’re in debt? ONE LIFE! You don't want to go to work because there's a Full House marathon on? That's okay, ONE LIFE!

One life. We really do only have one life. We really only may have three months, three seconds to live. I was reminded of this just last week, at a funeral for a woman so many of us loved. Shit, life is short, I thought.

I need to live better because some cannot. Some are already gone. I need to be kinder, and stronger, and more productive. Healthier. Because whether I have three or three hundred months to live, I am going to make them fucking awesome.

We owe it to ourselves. We owe it to others. After all, we only have ONE LIFE.


  1. I knew you couldn't be dying because if you were you certainly wouldn't be sitting at home reading on a Saturday night.

    "It's going in the book!"
    Love you

  2. Um, I have polished off a bottle of wine. Paired it with some Honey Nut Cheerios. Real classy. Real good. Love you too.

  3. Love this. I've been thinking about it too. What I'd do differently if I had three months to live and why don't I do it anyway. And the days go by... me just thinking...

  4. It hits me especially during summer, which passes by so quickly. Whole seasons fly by and we don't change...but we promise, promise, promise we will.