Randy Pausch taught us what matters most
The way Randy Pausch lived the last months of his life is a map for the way all of us Mommas (and Poppas) should start living ours. If you're not familiar with Pausch, he was a noted professor of computer science who gave a talk in September 2007 at Carnegie Mellon University that has become famous as "The Last Lecture.''
Pausch had been diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer just a year before and told that he would have only three to six months of healthy living left. He beat the odds, living nearly two years after the diagnosis. He passed away Friday with his family by his side.
Much of what he had to say to the 400 students and faculty who heard his last lecture dealt with life and how to live it. Even though he was battling incurable cancer, in his last lecture he said, "If I don't seem as depressed or morose as I should be, sorry to disappoint you.'' And he said later in the lecture that he "didn't know how not to have fun. ... And I'm going to keep having fun every day I have left. Because there's no other way to play it.''
His last words in the lecture were, "This was for my kids."
Maybe that is the way we should play it: Be upbeat, especially with our families because we never know how much time we have left. And spend as much special time as we can with our children. Give them a kiss or a hug today for no reason. In fact, do that every day so they know how much you love them.
A Wall Street Journal story said that Pausch's speech was videotaped so his children, all under the age of 8, can watch it when they're older. They will get to know what the rest of us already do: Their father was a great guy who didn't let waiting for death ruin his thirst for life and living.
-- Sherry Robinson