The bible tells us that God created the world in just seven days. Amazing! It makes most of us feel like low achievers. But, sometimes in our normal feet-on-the-ground world, it does seem like we can fit a lot into seven days. Let me share my last week. It has included hope, sadness, great joy, contentment, learning, giving, and appreciation.

Of course, we might be happy to have just completed another week, but while much is perhaps predestined, some things come from what we seek and how we interpret them. My great joy came with an event that is new to me, something called a gender reveal. My youngest granddaughter, Jessica and her husband Ricky Abejuela are the expectant parents. Their baby will be my second great grandchild.

The exciting event was filled with the burning question, boy or girl? They had stickers to wear with your predictions. As we waited for the capsule to explode in either pink or blue, I paused to look around at all the faces filled with anticipation.

I looked over at my daughter, Lara, who is my youngest. Wasn’t she just in diapers? I looked at my other granddaughter, Amanda, who will soon be an aunt. Everyone at the event would be impacted by the news.

The moment came in shades of blue! Tears filled my eyes. I was in a state of wonder at the circle of life. A boy! This was a celebration of life.

On another day, I attended a stirring talk on the Interfaith movement. The speaker was a Baptist minister. Tall in stature, he spoke softly with the unique gift of making you feel like he was speaking directly to you. It was the conclusion of a three-day event hosted by three different religions, with speakers from many more. Their messages about respecting each other’s beliefs, trying to work together in common cause, was inspiring.

Interfaith groups have people from all forms of religious beliefs who bring their world views and traditions together. The importance of these groups is the opportunity for people to connect, dialogue, and gain a better understanding of how other people view the meaning of life. In our divided world, learning about and connecting with people of different beliefs helps to strengthen our community.

I left with a huge sensation of hope. I felt I had witnessed not just tolerance, but hopefully the foundation of a world that would lead to peace. Yet another day, I attended a very unique workshop on Dying With Dignity with a speaker from the Final Exit Network.

I learned about California’s End of Life Option Act, or the right to die law. The Act, which was enacted in June of 2016, allows residents of the state of California to access medical aid in dying by self-administering lethal drugs, providing very specific circumstances are met.

For those who like to be kept informed, be it pro or con, here is what the law requires. It requires the person to be over 18, possessing the full capacity to make an independent decision to end their own life, as well as to be able to administer the drug themselves. Participation must be voluntary for all involved, and the application must be made by both an attending physician and a consulting physician with a gap of no more than 15 days.

Should either physician request one, the applicant must see a mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist. The person must be certified by the physician to have a life limiting illness with a less than six-month expectancy of life. They must also have considered and discussed palliative care options. Under the provisions of the law, if a patient chooses to die in this manner, their death certificate will list the underlying illness as the cause of death, not suicide.

Later on, I attended an environment meeting that helped encourage me to get better about recycling, which I admit I’d begun to slide on. Later, while brushing my teeth, I noticed I still had the water running, and I quickly turned it off. Yes, even though we are getting a wonderful dose of rain, we still must be mindful to protect our highly valued water.

I also went time traveling this week when watching a documentary on the band Queen. The show transported me back to my rockin’ years, and I found myself with a renewed energy. I also watched the Oscars, which I have since I was a wee girl. Although I miss the days when Bob Hope hosted, I enjoyed having a crash course on what’s new in movies, as well as fashion. Surrounding these moments of learning and observing.

I interacted with family and friends, attended church, went out to lunch with a new friend who comes from France, who opened a whole new world to me, and took the time to plant a few flowers in my small strip of yard. Feeling the warmth of the earth, it rekindled in me my love of gardening. It was a great feeling to once more feel a part of nature’s cycle.

Wow! That all happened in just seven days, one week. We have fifty-two weeks in a year. I feel a new zest for life now, and also, a curiosity to see what the next seven days might bring.

Diana J. Ingram

Diana Ingram has been a columnist for Los Banos newspapers for four decades.