Living Life To The Fullest

A couple – young, in love – get married,
soon buy a house, a car, and start a business.
Eighty-hour workweeks leave them tired, harried,
but years of struggle lead to business success.

Then they begin their family – one son, another.
The husband still continues working long hours;
the wife enjoys now being a stay-at-home mother.
Over time, their once happy relationship sours.

She implores, “The kids and I never get to see you!
All you do is work, work, work. There is much more
to life than merely making money. What must I do
to reach you?” All her pleading he chooses to ignore.

Then comes the day the wife has a doctor’s appointment.
That night, “Dear, I have something to tell’s bad.
I am one year, maybe two...there’s no treatment.
If we could live this year to the fullest I’d be so very glad.”

Her husband is shocked, dismayed...immediately sets out
to change his ways – hiring a manager at work, spending
time with wife and family, having weekly family outings,
even that long-planned, long-delayed Disney vacationing.

He dotes upon his wife. Their romantic behavior is noted
by others. They know true happiness, become the envy of all
their friends. Love and affection fill their existence, promoted
by the preciousness of each day, since soon shall come the fall.

A year thus passes, followed by months more. The wife, sad
and guilt-ridden, “Darling, I have lied to you. I’m not dying.”
Her husband simply smiles. “I know, dear. I’m so very glad.”
“How long have you known?” “I knew that you were lying

within a week of your telling me. For you see, I went to demand
your doctor attempt some treatment....anything was worth trying!
The truth hurt me, made me mad, until I came to understand
it wasn’t you but our marriage that was in real danger of dying.

The thought of my life without you in it truly frightened me.
Your deception made my priorities quickly straighten out,
with the choice of love over money becoming clear to see.
Forevermore, we shall live life to the fullest, have no doubt.”

Harry Edward Gilleland      12.18.03