“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is a beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is costly, care for it.
Life is wealth, keep it.
Life is love, enjoy it.
Life is mystery, know it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.” (Mother Theresa)
If death came knocking at your door today, would you feel your life had been worthwhile and complete? Would there be accomplishments that need to be fulfilled? In Exit, Ondine Duquesne-Schmidt finds herself facing both of these questions and more. She has spent most of her life doing exactly what was expected of her. She followed the routine of being a good daughter, a good wife and a good mother. But at what expense to her own self and her own dreams? You see, Ondine has been diagnosed with 1st stage lymphocytic leukemia. Her time is limited and there is so much she has not done and needs to do.
Patients with incurable diseases normally pass through several stages: rage, anger, bargaining with God, depression, denial and finally acceptance. Ondine skipped the first stages and went straight to depression. And with the depression came the attitude of doing whatever felt good.
These feelings take Ondine from her home in Paris to America to Mexico and then back home again. But along the way she will recognize those things and people who have true meanings to her and her life. Awakening. Allowing her to fulfill her dearest youth dream, “a dream covered by dust.” Becoming the woman she was meant to be. Becoming a writer. A rebirth through the illness.
Following Ondine as she finds herself has opened me up to feelings that I’m sure are felt by those sentenced to death but not knowing exactly when their sentence will be carried out. One statement Author Liliana Badd makes in Exit has really stuck with me. It is “My time is different from that of other people. My years are being compressed into weeks, my days into minutes.” I don’t believe any truer words could be used to describe the time left for those diagnosed with a terminal illness. Exit has given me a new outlook on people around me, both ill and well. It’s also made me take a look at my own life, looking for changes that I personally might need to make before my time comes.
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