_ Have you ever given any thought to what a lifetime constitutes? Is it how many years you lived?  Is it what you have done?  Is it where you have gone?  Is it who you have helped?

That question came to me when I saw a commercial for cancer survivors.  The tagline was “because everyone deserves a lifetime.”  If you die at age 100, couldn’t you argue that if you live only to age 75, you were cheated out of 25 years?  What about Christine Taylor-Green?  She was killed at age 9, which most people certainly wouldn’t say is a lifetime.  What about a 28 year old beauty queen who left behind a husband and a 2 year old child?  Did she miss a lifetime because she didn’t get to see her grow up?  As the saying goes, life is not fair.

After pondering this question for several days I believe a lifetime is what you make of the time you have.  Whether it’s developing software that almost everyone on the planet uses or if you were the wife and mother who took care of the husband, raised the kids and devoted your entire life to their benefit, a lifetime can only be determined on a case by case basis.

One of the best parts of my job is listening to families talk about the life of the loved one.  Where they lived, what their life was like, where they worked, what hobbies they had, what made them interesting, how much time they spent together and how their lifetime was filled.

If, at the end of the day, we can help one family NOT have to go through what I did at my dad’s death, it has been a successful day.  I hope my lifetime will be filled with service, no matter how long that may be.

Tisha Diffie