It is fitting that the first book that I review on Harold being Harold is The Last Lecture.
The Last Lecture is a book that I have wanted to read for several years now, but I haven’t wanted to read and didn’t until now – if that makes any damn sense.
I first watched Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture video on YouTube in late 2008 and was blown away by it. I cried, laughed, and wished that I could have met the man, before he died. Since then I attempt to watch it every year, as a reminder of how good my life is and to remind me not to take my family for granted.
Randy Pausch was three years younger than I am. He was born the same year as my brother who died of AIDS back in mid 90’s and went through living while knowing that he was dying too soon. What Pausch went through and the courageous manner in which he did it, were so inspiring that it still affects me more than I ever believed that it would.
His words and actions resonated with me on a different level than they would for some people.
This year I put off my annual watching the video due to the pandemic, it seemed to be the wrong time each time I thought of doing it. When I saw the book in my library’s recommended ebook section last week, I added it to my wish list and then every time I went to get a new book I felt the pull to read The Last Lecture.
With a little trepidation – yesterday afternoon, I downloaded The Last Lecture and by 9:00 that night I finished reading it. I knew that reading The Last Lecture would be an emotional roller coaster ride.
A TOUGH, but a good read.
After I finished the book, I started to watch the video again. Some parts of the video that I didn’t quite catch what it meant all the times I had watched it before – now made sense. The book did clarify a few things.
Yes, I my eyes leaked a bit while reading the book and I always have tears rolling down my face at various times when I watch the video and last night was no exception. I am not great at this emotion thing and that is why I made myself read the book and watch the video again. If forces me to acknowledge what I am feeling and I start to think about other things that need to be thought about.
Especially, the death and dying part, something that most of us tend to avoid thinking or talking about too much.
A friend of mine lost his mother the other night, which is one of the hardest things that most of us will ever do and I lost my younger sister less than a month ago. So facing the idea that we all must deal with others we love and care for dying, and eventually that we will die at some point in the future is something we all must do.
When it is my time to die, I want to believe that I will face it as bravely as others I have known who have gone before me and the example of Randy Pausch will be there to remind me to live my life well and also to die well.
Just not any time soon, more like in 20-30 years, but we will see when the Grim Reaper decides to chase me down.
Until then I will live a life well lived.
Read the book, have your emotions stirred, think about the ones you love, and yes, even your own mortality. If you have an hour and a bit I strongly recommend watching the video (before or after) reading the book, both ways have their advantages.
Be well and do well everyone.