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You die two deaths

I had a birthday in February, I turned 63. It was just another day in what is becoming a long life. When I was in my late 50’s and retirement was no longer the carrot on a very long stick, but something that was right around the corner, I started to reflect on my life. I didn’t like what I saw. I spent far too much of my adult life just trying to make it until tomorrow. When you live with depression, tomorrow always holds the hope of being a better day. In retrospect, I threw away a lot of my life just holding on until tomorrow. And definitely not enough time helping others. I truly believe that people should always try to help and leave the world a better place than they have found it. It is with that backdrop that we started our little farm animal sanctuary. Not only has it given me something to pour my energy into and not have time to spiral into a bad place, but it also gave me a sense of purpose. A chance to one day lay on my deathbed and feel good about my time here on earth. I have been given the chance to change the course of a handful of beautiful soul’s lives. It may not sound like much, but to me it is more than enough to give myself and my life, meaning. I have 3 extraordinary adult children and am raising some incredible twins; I had a 42-year career in an industry that allowed me to travel and make friends around the world. These are things that I have always been proud of. But as I got older, I didn’t feel like I had done enough (or anything) to leave this world a better place. And that has always been my aim with my life. I realized early on that I would never cure cancer or broker world peace, so I had to find something that was achievable. And I think I found it by rescuing a few sweet precious souls. There won’t be any statues erected in my honor, but I have a chance to do something good and see the tangible results. And for that I am grateful.

They say you die two deaths, once when you stop breathing and another when your name is said for the last time. Founding this small sanctuary has not brought me immortality and people will not be talking about it for generations after my death. And that is not a concern of mine, but we have some residents here that will outlive me and maybe they will tell stories to their kids about the nice old man that changed the course of their lives.

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