The last question the advisor asked me and the answer that came from my heart changed my life. She said that a second visit to the doctor revealed that I had only 24 hours to live. There was no time left to DO much more, so the question was – “What do you most regret NOT having done in your life?”
The answer to that last question came immediately from my gut to my mouth– “The Book! I have to write my story before I die!”
At the time, I was still a full time high school teacher, so most of my work on the book took place during the summer of 2005. Then in the summer of 2006, a friend invited me to do a reading at a community performance she was organizing. That goal, inspired by her own courage in writing and performing her music, helped me focus on a deadline. The morning after her request, I wrote for five hours straight, the emotional high point of my book pouring out of me. I finally felt like a real writer, writing for a specific audience.
Since retiring from teaching fulltime in 2007, researching and writing the book has become a major commitment. In 2009, I completed the second draft (39 chapters), again deadlining for a 40th anniversary reunion of the DC-9, whose anti-war action in 1969 is the central plot of the book.
I would love to hear your answer to the question – If I knew I were to die in 24 hours, what would I most regret not having done in my life?