"The Last Lecture" On a Day Like Today…

I just got done watching a revision of “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch that he gave on the Oprah show awhile back. Randy Pausch, if you haven’t heard of him, is a professor at Carnegie-Mellon University and has terminal pancreatic cancer. The concept of a last lecture was apparently part of a series, where top academics were asked what would they tell the world, if they had the opportunity. His lecture was given for his kids, a lecture about achieving childhood dreams.

If you watch the video clip of the lecture – his wisdom is simple, but something that many of us overlook every day. I have not yet watched the full-lecture – only the excerpted lecture (which is about ten minutes long) but I was extremely moved. In fact, just before posting, I watched the clip for the third time and still found myself wiping tears from my cheeks when it was over. He has a book that will be coming out tomorrow – I’ve already preordered it from Amazon.com.

Something Randy Pausch said is that “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think.”

I found out this morning that a former co-worker of mine passed away from complications due to cancer. This was a woman who embodied the very things that Randy Pausch spoke of in his lecture – and what I hope to find in the book as well. If ever there was an example of living one’s life with grace, it would be Ann, and it’s hard to mourn her death knowing her faith and joy that she lived life with here on earth is probably just as abundant in her life beyond. She was very faithful to her church and was a pastor in addition to the work she did with the company I work for. She was very engaged in volunteering to help others and ministering to others, and she was very invested in knowing people and about people and letting you know how much you were on her mind. In her work area, she kept a picture of my daughters posted – she always asked about them, always talked about them. The kind of friend who hangs up a picture of your kids… that’s a good friend.

She never let her cancer get her down. In fact, she told so few people about it. She had faith in the plan and she had faith that things would be the way they were supposed to be. She didn’t wait to die, she lived her life every day – making every day matter.

I know that I won’t be the only one who will miss her, and I grieve for her family for they have lost the strongest branch on the family tree. I am comforted knowing that I have another angel looking out for me and my family, though, and I know that she is.

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”
– Randy Pausch

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. I am so sorry for your loss. But it is a comfort to know her life was well lived & she was well loved.

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