A few weeks ago Dr. T came into our office with a plain small wooden box. It was small enough for him to carry this box underneath just one arm. He brought it over to Cindy (my co-worker) and gave her the mailing address to send it off to .. probably its final destination, so to speak. Working at a medical school, I’m always interested in the conversations I hear between students, staff and faculty. The medical industry is an industry I never truly thought I would be involved with, but that day, that wooden box really had me thinking about my own life, what’s important, what’s not and how life is truly precious. Cindy weighed the box and handed it over to me. “Heather, feel this box .. 10 pounds, can you believe it?” She handed me this box and it was heavier than I imagined, yet… to think that this particular box held 10 pounds of ashes that used to actually make up an entire body.. seemed as if should actually weigh more than 10 pounds. Dr. T is the head doctor over the Anatomy department. Every year, our school gets 25 new bodies and Dr. T usually works on one body, going through all the main parts and important incisions while the media specialists record him in advance. This allows students to follow along on their own bodies when they start covering more crucial cuts, persay. I’ve been inside of the Anatomy lab, but only when the bodies are put away. There’s actually a piece of paper hanging at the end of the room that tells the age of each body and what they died of. And now, for the first time, I was holding one of these “bodies” in my hands.. all 10 pounds. I wondered who this person was before he/she had died.. I’m sure they had dreams of succeeding in life .. did this person ever find true love? .. did he/she have children? .. a favorite color? .. a favorite place to eat ? .. or maybe a country they had always wanted to visit .. who was this 10 pounds? I wasn’t holding the box for more than a few seconds, but I couldn’t help but ponder some of these questions and look at my own life at the same time. Life – everyone has the same opportunities to make something of themselves, or not… to travel and see the world, or not … to seek out true love and have a family, or not .. to have a small or big house, or not – maybe they enjoy renting instead .. to stay at one job, or not…. to wake up with a positive attitude, or not.. But, what it all comes down to, really, is 10 pounds. We only have so much time alloted to us here in this world.. I think about some of the challenges I stress over in my own life, when really, if I think about the big picture – those challenges become much smaller. I’ll be the first to admit – I’m a sucker for the materialistic luxuries in life .. but when all is said done, what really matters is the imprint you’ve left in this world .. choosing to go to work with a smile on your face and a song in your heart – you never know who’s day you might change, with just a simple smile.. or being the best example you can to siblings and others who (you don’t even know) look up to you .. or buying the person behind you in line a latte, just out of good gesture .. or following your own dreams and goals .. writing a book, learning a second language.. you never know just whose life you’ll influence with such knowledge.. saying “I’m sorry”, even if it wasn’t your fault to begin with .. life is just too short for holding grudges .. saying “I love you”… when I was a little girl, my mom used to always end my night with a kiss & “I love you” .. even when we fought, she would still come into my room and tell me she loved me.. and I always knew at the end of the night, my mom loved me.. and as I got older and moved away, we always ended each phone call with “I love you” .. I think it assured me as a young girl to know my mom loved me .. and as I got older, I always wanted our conversations to end on a positive note and for her to know that I loved her .. because if something were to happen before I awoke the next morning, at least I knew and she knew that we loved each other. My relationship has since changed with her and we haven’t really spoken in nearly 2 years.. I’m off topic, but then again – it all comes back to 10 pounds… because someday, we will all be just 10 pounds.. that is why it is important to live your life to its fullest. Cindy found a priority USPS box small enough for that little wooden box. She placed some packing material inside to keep it from moving around, sealed it, and placed the shipping label on the outside of the box.. I had told her (while she was packaging it up) my thoughts on this little wooden box. “I think it might be something worth writing about.. 10 pounds..” She smiled at me, “Yeah Heather, well if you do write about it, let me know – I’ll read it… now, say goodbye to 10 pounds..” I waved goodbye to the box.. “Bye, Bye 10 pounds.” .. and that, was that.