Some time ago, a friend of mine from college, N, was diagnosed with Hodgkins disease. Throughout his illness, despite the fact that he wasn't in the best of spirits, N always did a magnificent job at keeping in touch and at keeping all his friends and family abreast as to how his condition was progressing and how the treatment was responding.
Yesterday N sent me an email to tell me that he was officially Hodgkins free and to let me know of all the things he intended to do now that he is not at the mercy of the disease. At the end of his email he said "Ah, it feels so good to be planning for the future again."
Upon reading this I couldn't help but feel like a horrible person. Every day of my life I make plans and then unmake them and have the freedom to change my mind as often as I like simply because I can. Then there are people like N, who for a long time couldn't really plan for the future because there might not be a future to plan for.
I don't think anyone really understands what a luxury the future is unless they can for one moment see a life that has its future taken away. Before yesterday, I didn't think that planning for the future was really anything other than something I was supossed to do. In any case, thanks to N today I am more appreciative of the possibilities and hopeful because no matter what happens, at least for now, I know that my future is before me and nothing is threatening to take it away.
As for N, I hope that in his future I can remain a part of his life just as I have in his present and his past.