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Tea Bag Sayings

June 5, 2010

“Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.” I was reading Pancho Villa’s last words printed on the tag of my Good Earth’s Sweet & Spicy Herbal tea. The tea is amazing, and I’ve been guzzling it down ever since my friend Stephanie introduced me to it a few weeks ago. The best part, however, is the great sayings that go along with each serving of tea – something akin to getting a fortune in a cookie only more entertaining.

Somehow Pancho’s words struck a chord in me. I can identify with what must have been running through his deathbed head and imagine myself struggling for those final breaths of air before expiration. Knowing I would want to leave the world with something memorable, and truly this is the last chance to do so, I would waste my last earthly moments searching for some pithy bit of wisdom to memorialize my existence. Unfortunately, deathbeds are not known for inspiring thoughts – case in point, Pancho begging whoever was standing there to come up with something on his behalf.

Probably best to start working on my last words now and hope my dying moment affords me an opportunity to gasp out something memorable and a witness to jot it down. Of course even starting early leaves one with a big old list of “ifs.”
1. If I come up with something, will it still be relevant by the time I die? How often does one need to revise one’s dying statement?
2. If I’m dying, will I have a chance to gasp out one last bit of advice? (Maybe instead I’ll die of old age in my sleep – I can only hope.)
3. If I do have the ability to speak, will there be anyone to witness it?
4. If I do have the ability to speak, and I do have a witness, will the witness remember what I said?
5. If the witness remembers what I said, will they bother to tell others? Maybe they’ll steal what I said for their own dying words.

After all of that contemplation, I realized I don’t want to be remembered for my dying words. Instead, please remember me for a life well lived. Let my nieces and nephew say that I was fun and a good example. Please remember me as a good friend and as an honest co-worker.

My job isn’t to come up with something quotable but rather to live a life worthy of being remembered. We never know how long our lives will last; so be careful with each minute you’re given.

“Only one life, ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” C. T. Studd

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