A Word About Mortality

I had a very strange experience in the health club this morning. An acquaintance of mind approached me with what I thought to be, at first, a horrifying story. He had recently discovered a mole on his shoulder that looked suspicious. With great trepidation, he went to his dermatologist to get a diagnosis.

Both he and his wife were out of the house when the voice mail was left. He had an old machine that distorted the quality of the recording. The message said, “The result of your test just came in. You have to worry about it.” Both he and his wife totally freaked out. They listened to the message over and over and – disheartened – researched his condition on Google. They discovered – bottom line – that he had no hope. He would die within a few weeks. He shared with me that during his agonizing, sleepless night he re-evaluated his life and uncovered all the things that he regretted not doing. The list was extensive. He and his wife cried together.

The next morning they called the doctor as soon as his office opened. What was the doctor’s response? “What are you talking about? I said – “You have nothing to worry about. It’s benign.” The ancient answering machine garbled the message. He was reborn. Which led me to think about a Woody Allen quote: “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying.”

I had a very strange experience in the health club this morning. An acquaintance of mind approached me with what I thought to be, at first, a horrifying story. He had recently discovered a mole on his shoulder that looked suspicious. With great trepidation, he went to his dermatologist to get a diagnosis.

Both he and his wife were out of the house when the voice mail was left. He had an old machine that distorted the quality of the recording. The message said, “The result of your test just came in. You have to worry about it.” Both he and his wife totally freaked out. They listened to the message over and over and – disheartened – researched his condition on Google. They discovered – bottom line – that he had no hope. He would die within a few weeks. He shared with me that during his agonizing, sleepless night he re-evaluated his life and uncovered all the things that he regretted not doing. The list was extensive. He and his wife cried together.

The next morning they called the doctor as soon as his office opened. What was the doctor’s response? “What are you talking about? I said – “You have nothing to worry about. It’s benign.” The ancient answering machine garbled the message. He was reborn. Which led me to think about a Woody Allen quote: “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying.”

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