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The Key to Living

Updated on July 18, 2013

The Gifted Key

The Gift of the Key

The diagnoses of a terminal illness is a crippling sentence at least that is what I thought. The man though that I was married too, and who the diagnoses was given did not view it in a crippling way. Instead, he took me by hand to show me how to fully live. It was up to me to learn or not. My keen eye and observation skill helped me to take it all in.

.We decided to move to Florida, upon an offer my mother made us. It seemed to be a wonderful opportunity, and we both hope that the warmth would help lessen his struggle physically. He called it paradise. Though activity outdoors was extremely limited, he utilized his time indoors. He would begin each day hooked up to an oxygen tank, which he had to stay on all the time. That was a nuance, yet it did not diminish his day. He acquired a passion for baking while we still lived in Ohio, so he decided to continue baking the wonders of breads and pastries. His ability to bake, would put most women to shame. My husband never did anything half-way. He always was the conquering type, and this filtered through in his last nine months of life. Here in Florida, he discovered a whole new group of people who enjoyed his baked goods. Whenever I went down to the pool, I presented the people there with a tray of his scones and cookies. There was an English couple living in our complex, and when they tasted his scones, the husband informed my husband that he never tasted any better. This man spoke from his heart, and his words were sincere. My husband was so elated over that compliment.

His days, in those last nine months, were spent in wander, and curiosity. He did not know if he had a day or a week left, but each day he would awaken and embrace the day. In many ways, those last months was a honeymoon period for us. It was just us two, and we left nothing unsaid. We talked about the wonder of the day, not the sorrow of it. Those months, living in the joy of the day were priceless. It was from my observation, that I learned how to really live life. I learned the meaning of embracing the day.

In my life, I was fortunate to receive one final gift from my husband. He gave me the key to how to live fully. This he did while he was dying. I noticed something was gone from his presence; he did not have a concern about what tomorrow would bring. His focus was totally on the day. His final nine months he took me by hand, and gave me the key to living. I would like to pass this to you. It is a gift to share. I do hope this hub will show you the way of living. The key is free and you now can use it. What follows are the lessons I learned from him, and am practicing now.

Seeing the Beauty

Thank You for Teaching me

The keys to living fully.

These are the key lessons that my husband passed to me, prior to his death.

There is magic in each day, one just has to be in the here and now to see it. You can enjoy beauty every day, but you first have to take the time to sit and be quiet. When our minds are given a mini-vacation, we see the beauty in the simplest things. You just need to take the time to be quiet and look.

Make a strong effort to embrace the day. This one is still special to me. Each day he awoke was another day of life. I felt his joy to have one more day, plus his appreciation. This is a step I take religiously every day. In doing so, you begin the day without finding fault with any part of it. The earth is beautiful he told me. You can enjoy beauty every day, if you just take the time to be quiet and look.

Forgiveness was a major key between us. I am grateful we had the opportunity to bring everything out. Nothing was hidden, we talked openly about the wounds we inflicted on each other. Being married for so long, there are bound to be a few wounds. We forgive each other. It is good to know we had this moment, but I also watched him forgive those in his past. He let go of his anger, frustrations and dismay, to replace it all with love and forgiveness.

He gave me the key of acceptance. There will be times he could not complete a project, and he accepted it gracefully.

The gift of the evening, and staring at the sky. The awareness again of the beauty of the earth.

There is beauty all over, and when a dying man can see it and share it with me, that beauty stays within one’s heart. What a wonder gift we can share with others who are in our life!

Journey of life

Passing the key of living forward

He taught me the value of staying in the present time. I hope by writing this hub, it will help nudge you into being in the here and now. It is a way of life that I now live, even during those treacherous years after his death. Actually it was what he taught me that saved me over the years after his death.

We do not know what tomorrow will bring, and to be consumed by worry and fears is so counter-productive. To be able to awake each day embracing it as our last day is not an easy task. I do feel though it can be learned, and I did. Life comes diligently with challenges, be they ours or those we love. Understand this fully, and also understand we can choose to live in the moment. We can choose to find something that lifts our spirits. It is okay to do so, and actually better for us then to bury ourselves in our fears and worries. If you do not know how to accomplish this, then look around and discover what does make you feel lighter. What makes you laugh? What looks pretty to you? What would you be able to do today that brings you pleasure? If today was your last day on earth, how would you spend it? Live each day in the concept you are living a miracle, for actually you are. You are the miracle, and it is your day to bless life and those in it. Joy is never far away. It is always there for you to pick. I can think of joy as a tree, and it has produced a lot of fruit. All I have to do is reach up and grab a piece of fruit. The tree of life is also the tree of miracles. The world is created for you to just reach up and grab a hold of, just for today.

I hope these keys will help you view life as a blessing. I hope to awaken in the morning, you will realize the gift you have received. You have one more day to stretch and be the wonderful you.


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    • Renee Abbott profile imageAUTHOR

      Renee Abbott 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Yes, it is Ciax. It sometimes is hard to hold on to love and respect when your life is exploding all around you, but for me it was/is the only way to keep moving forward. When I can't, I have noticed those areas were areas I myself needed to heal within me. Life is grand.

    • Renee Abbott profile imageAUTHOR

      Renee Abbott 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Thank you Brett

      It is so important for people to learn to embrace all of life. I am glad there are others who teach this as well.

    • brett-hartnett profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your experience with us Renee. I found it very inspirational and insightful. I try to teach people to accept what is happening so that you may embrace it. Fear, worry, anger, etc., merely prevent us from finding the joy that we can have at every moment.

    • Renee Abbott profile imageAUTHOR

      Renee Abbott 

      6 years ago from Arizona


      I am really humbled and honored by your remarks. Thank you so much.



    • Canscorpion profile image

      Nimra Aijaz 

      6 years ago from Steel Town

      Wow! This is such an uplifting hub. Renee i must first commend you for sharing so dear experience of your life with fellow hubbers, and THEN, for extracting so beautiful lesson to be learnt from such an incident that often is taken negatively (no doubt death of a loved one is a pain only those understand better who got through it). This is not only encouraging for all those who have gone through this pain, but also for those who have created walls around themselves and spend valuable years in sulking, stressing or grieving for failures.

      Love Your Spirit, Your Thinking and Your Hub! Voted up!


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