“An Hour to Live, an Hour to Love” was written based on a true story of the best gift ever given. Richard Carlson wrote the letter ‘an hour to live’ to his wife, Kristine Carlson as their 18th anniversary gift. Three years letter, Richard passed away and Kristine wrote a reply ‘an hour to love’ as a tribute to the authenticity of Richard’s wisdom. Richard mostly talked about his life throughout his marriage but it portrays reality as I read the book. He took Stephen Levine’s quote as an inspiration which says, “If you had an hour to live and could make just one phone call, who would it be to, what would you say… and why are you waiting?” We all will eventually die, so he said in life we might want to jump ahead and look back to have a clearer view and precious what we have now when there is still plenty of time. If he has an hour to live, he would have called his life partner, Kris. Kristine helped him not to take himself or life very seriously. She changed Richard’s life while in college. He was a college tennis player but he plays to please the people who saw the potential in him. The problem is his heart was not into tennis, not anymore at least. So, it was Kristine who taught him to listen to his heart and encouraged him to make the big turning point in his life by quitting tennis. To have left one hour to live, Richard wishes he would already say goodbye to his friends and family. He would love to tell Kris how much he loves her for she has been there all along during his highest highs and lowest lows. He loves how Kristine will help remind him when he forgot to listen. He admires Kristine for how she showers love on their family and being incredibly kind to other people too. He wonders Kristine’s ability to never sweat the small stuffs. For Richard, Kristine’s love is unconditional as during his lowest lows in life when he was struggling from his writing career and wishes things he shouldn’t have but Kristine took it all very calmly. All she did was listened to him without judging and showed him that they are still blessed with healthy children and that’s all that matters.
When he was grieving upon his grandma’s death, Kristine calmed him down just by being there for him. He thought Kristine’s humanity is amazing as when Richard has always sweated over all the small stuffs, she taught him that “we always teach best what we most need to learn.” If he could live his life again, he would like to spend less time talking and more time listening. Then, he would spend far less energy wanting things he didn’t have, and far more energy enjoying what he already has. Moreover, if he could live his life over again, he would rarely if ever be in such a hurry and let happiness catches up to him instead of chasing down happiness. And for him, that’s what Kristine has always been able to do, which is to be present with him. He also would never put off so easily and so often what he wanted to do. Finally, if he is given the chance to live his life over, he wishes to be more loving to Kris and to everyone else and expect far less in return. And why are you waiting? He mentioned his girl who says, “Mommy I get another of these?” Which means, I get another day to live? It gives Richard goose bumps every time he heard that but he admires a child’s gratitude towards life. Richard is not saying that neither obligations and responsible in life is not important, nor your goals, ambitions, dreams and obstacles to overcome but he is teaching us to start appreciating things that make us happy and content, things we will talk about during our final hour of life. He wanted people to realize before it’s too late.
Courtney from Study Moose
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