How to use imagination to appreciate what we have.


Why do we often only appreciate what we have after it’s gone? Why can’t we appreciate what we have while we still have it? Is there a recipe to do so?

When I was married to my late husband, Steve, we had a very busy life, me with my private medical practice, he with his stressful work as a systems engineer. We knew we were happy but we didn’t really take the time to savor our happiness. We were planning to live into our nineties and knew we would have all the time then to appreciate life and to go for walks holding hands.

But then, all of a sudden, our life as we knew it collapsed. Steve started experiencing right-hand weakness which got rapidly worse. An MRI revealed a very aggressive brain tumor, called “glioblastoma multiforme,” which carried with it a deadly prognosis. Things evolved quickly with brain surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Suddenly, there was no more time to appreciate our love, our life, our happiness. One day, we had it all. The following day, what we had was gone.