27 beats of the heart

So, what if there were a machine that could tell you how many times your heart was going to beat before the end of your life? Would you want to know?

A healthy heart beats 70 to 100 times a minute. The unhealthier you are, the more your heart beats per minute, and the faster you would burn up your allotment. So, if you asked the machine to give you the answer, you would want to hear a really big number. Millions at the very least. Trillions if possible.

But, with my luck, I would probably get a number more like 27.

That is probably less than a third of a minute with my heart.

So, what I would actually have time to do is to pick the last memory to flash through my mind as the lights were going out. What would I choose? The day I got married? Maybe. The time a favorite former student told me about a success in her life that she associated with what she learned from me? Possibly. But most likely, the moment I held my newborn firstborn son in my arms. Therein lies my connection to immortality. I remember that I was crying and he was merely sleeping.

So, now that the heartbeat machine taken to an extreme has made me rethink how I live my life. It is not about living my life in the moment day by day, but rather, minute by minute… taking in the larger picture.

Can I dare to be fully alive for every minute I may have left?

I must. I have no other choice. None of us have a choice, unless you really are OK with living while not really alive.

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