Do You Want To Live Forever?

Photo by Wuan.

During Mass last Sunday, Father Francis was giving his homily. ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments,” he quoted from the gospel. But my thoughts were already drifting away. I was uncomfortable. My buttocks ached. The insides of me ached. I kept shifting uneasily. Thoughts about my recent blood test and what Dr. Liong said filled my mind.

“God, give me more time, please.”

Father continued with his homily but there was only silence I heard in the Cathedral that morning.

“How much more time do you want? Do you want to live forever?”

“No, but…”

How much more time do I want? I have no definite answer. As I reflected back on that over the last few days, it all became increasingly clear. The months of fear and dejection began to fade away. I am reaching forty soon. How many more years do I want? What do I want to do with those years?

Live life well, that is what I keep forgetting. And I continue to forget that I can always trust in Him to know what is best for me. It does not matter if I have another year, another ten or many more. Many have passed on at much tender ages than I am now, some of them sudden. They did not even have the opportunity to say their goodbyes. I know where I am heading. I am grateful that I am being given the possibility to make something out of my life before I am called back.

I also realised that I have been sad lately more because I can no longer eat most of the food that I love. My taste buds can no longer be tantalized by those that I have yet to savour. Live to eat was the adage that I used live by. Now I eat to live. Every mouthful could potentially cause more damage. These are the inevitable frustrations. I have gone through so much. This is not going to stop me. This is my cross to bear. I have to endure it to the end nonetheless.

Really, how much more time do I want? As long as He wants to keep me here; as long as my body can carry me; as long as I have a breath, I will try to live life to the fullest. Immortality is not the kind of existence I desire. I am thankful for the thirty nine years that I already have. A simple life is all I am asking for. A simple life is what I am living now. I have Jesus. I have Wuan. I am contented, almost. Well, maybe just a little more time to accomplish something meaningful that I can truly be proud of and a little more time to spend with the woman who had given me so much. That is how much more time I wish I have.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

16 thoughts on “Do You Want To Live Forever?”

  1. Hmmm… Go have some Oysters, Peter. []

    oh, hang on. I do beg your pardon.

    Subject to your dietician’s approval, of course.


  2. God WILL make every second you are here on earth meaningful. And I hope that He will grant you as much time as you need do all that you wish. =)

  3. Peter,
    “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13. Press on, Peter. He who has carried the cross understands fully the cross you are bearing now.

  4. percolator,
    Had it raw with lemon once. Did not like the smell. Anyway, I am off most seafood now except white meat fishes. I miss steamed mud crabs most.

    Thank you. I pray for that too.

    Thanks, if that is His will. Please pray for me.

    Those are very comforting verses. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Life, love, laughs and tears. Remember God is always behind you. Take care and God bless.

    P/s : I am allergic to seafood and I have not tasted chilli crab for the past 10 years.

  6. and last sunday (1 may) gospel reading had this”
    “do not let your hearts be troubled. trust in god still and trust in me.”

    yes, peter. do not let your hearts be troubled you have jesus; trust in him, and go do your best.

  7. hey pete, cooking is as pleasurable, if not more than eating. why ponder over mortality when death is inevitable? take care k *mwahs*

  8. I always try to adhere by the saying… Life is not measure by quantity but by quality. I am sure yours has been of many adversities and you were able to shine through all of them.

    I do not know you VERY well, neither am I a very close buddy but when the day comes that I hear of your passing,,, I will not mourn but instead will celebrate your life (as discussed maybe I will even throw a blog party!).

    We may be of different religion, but faith knows no boundaries.

  9. Peter,

    You want more time?

    Why not offer a Novena to the Holy Spirit? From today till Pentecost. You can even do this at home, by yourself or with friends. I’ve got some links in my blog. For the days I may not make it to church, I will be doing it at home.

    God bless!

  10. Sean,
    I have become allergic to seafood recently. Therefore it is difficult to get used to the fact that my body is reacting negatively to food that I have enjoyed so much previously.

    I have drawn strength from what you related to me about your faith. Thank you.

    I tend to forget that. Thank you for reminding me. God bless you.

    I have the notion that my kidney problems have taken away some of the years that I could have had I not been afflicted with it. Of course I have come to realise that it was a false notion. Understanding this has somewhat consoled me. *mwahs* 😀

    A blog party to celebrate my demise? That is going to be so… different. Just make sure you outlive me.

    Just a little more than He had intended, if that is possible. 😀

  11. Peter,

    You asked a very profound question ? how long does each of us want ?here?? This intrigues me so greatly thus I feel compel to add my thoughts on the issue.

    I am not a religious man, but I believe each of us has a purpose ?here? ? the purpose for each of us would be our assigned role, defined by a ?structure? within which we play our part ?here? ? perhaps a doctor, soldier, humble labourer, even a cheat to test the wits, patience and charity of others, though what and how precisely do we play this role, namely its details, within this structure are not set in concrete. It?s left up to each of us.

    From what I have seen of your website, if this reflects you, then I believe you are a person who always excel, or strive to excel in whatever you do. I recall your kind favour during the tsunami disaster when I asked you a question on the fate of the Tanjong Tokong resident.

    You are a man whom I see as fulfilling to the max your role ?here?. How long now doesn?t matter, as this would be secondary to the primary objective, living your life to the fullest, its acme, your best that you possibly can.

    The difficult part is now, to keep up to your own standards. I salute you and will certainly emulate your spirit and endeavours. Continue to shower us with your example of excellence.

    May the heavens bless you.

  12. Hello Peter,

    I have only just chanced upon this blog after Mack got the ball rolling on how we bloggers need to speak up for proper evacuation procedures for the disabled. Have been coming back here ever since.

    Your thoughts are heartwarming, whether they be joyful or sorrowful accounts.

    God knows what is best for all of us, and what kinds of tests He knows we can endure.

    You may not be standing (except in the picture below, hee), but you certainly tower over most others with your insights.

    God bless. 🙂

  13. KTemoc,
    I believe I have a purpose here – an example of foolish youthful bravado that confined me to a wheelchair for the rest of my life. I hope people learn from that and not to take everything for granted. Life is valuable. Treasure it. Thank you for your kind words.

    Right until two years ago, I lead a purposeless existence. Now I wish I have more time to do something that will benefit, if not all, a small number of people. That has given me such saisfaction and joy. Now I can truly comprehend the wisdom that in giving only can we receive. I have gotten more from what I have given. That is the beauty of it. God bless you too.

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