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If I had One Year Left

Posted by on September 15, 2014

If I had one year to live…

A time to die blog hop

I’ve been mulling this question over ever since Nadine Brandes presented the question with the upcoming release of her debut novel, A Time to Die. It’s not exactly an easy question to answer. But not new to me. I’ve always been about “seizing the day” and the whole “if it was the end of the world, would it really matter?” That said, it is so easy to forget that. So easy to become reactionary and get bogged down with all the details of life and forget to live. I’m seeing this as a reoccurring theme here. Hmmm… So this question was definitely due for me.

When Nadine decided to do a blog hop, I jumped at the chance to join her and the rest of the bloggers in answering it. And what is a blog hop without a giveaway? Details below!

If I had one year left to live…

My first thought skipped to all the dreams and desires I had wanted to accomplish. I’d travel, I’d do this or that, and cross things off my bucket list. But as quickly as those thoughts came, they left.

No. If I knew I had one year to live…

First, more than likely I would have to come to terms with it. Ha! Once I overcame my panic (oh my!! My time is counting down! Must make every moment count! Breath-in-breath-out!), grief (not being there for my children & hubby, letting go of dreams), my focus would be my loved ones.

I would hug my children tighter, do the things they want to do. Maybe we’d take them somewhere special, create memories for them. I’d want to show them the Northern Lights, go horseback riding, and canoeing. Go to Africa and spend time with my hubby’s side of the family and then to Minnesota where my family is. We’d take them on a cruise, because my son is fascinated with ships and my hubby is always talking about taking a cruise one day. We’d go to NASA, because my son is obsessed with space rockets and astronauts right now. That might change in a few years. Who knows. We’d go to Disney World, because my daughter is fascinated with the princesses, and maybe I’d slip over to the Wizarding World of Hogwarts. Ha! And we’d take a trip via train cross country, because my son loves trains. Maybe I’d record myself reading to them, if I ever stopped crying. Ha! I’d attempt to read them all my favorite stories. I’d want to get together with friends, hanging out, playing board games, and eating great food. I would want to slow down. Not get angry over the little things. I’d want to paint more, I think.

And like Nadine, I would stop pursuing a career in writing. THAT would be a hard pill to swallow. Instead, I would write letters to my children and probably journal. Because I don’t think I could just not write anymore. It would take a different form.

I might still blog though. We could have this game or something… Flat Jennette like Flat Stanley, and mail me all over the world to the places I would love to visit, but couldn’t. So kidding…maybe. 😛

Well, there you have it. Not very earth shattering. But hey, when you have a five and three year old, your priorities change. I’m sure if the kiddos were older, graduated from college or something, I’d probably be looking at my bucket list and planning a wondrous trek around the world, enlist in a swordsmanship class, try my hand at a violin, and just maybe build a miniature castle to hand down as a heirloom or something. Ha! But then, they’d probably have grand kids, and yeah right, if I’m gonna up and leave them.

So what say you? What would you do if you had one year left to live?



ATimetoDieCovHow would you live if you knew the day you’d die?

Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system. 

But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her clock is running out.

This is book one in the “Out of Time” trilogy (subsequent volumes coming in 2015 and 2016).


The ebook is now available for pre-order at Amazon.

 add to goodreads





Nadine Brandes writes stories about authentic faith, bold living, and worlds soaked in imagination. She lives in Idaho with her husband and works as a freelance editor. When she’s not writing, editing, or taste-testing a new chai, she is out pursuing adventures. A Time to Die is her first novel.


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Don’t forget to check out what the other bloggers shared!

9.03.14 – Nadine Brandes
9.08.14 – Ashlee Willis
9.11.14 – Caitlin Schesser
9.15.14 – Jennette Mbewe
9.17.14 – Heather Fitzgerald
9.19.14 – Kristen Stieffel
9.22.14 – Rebekah Gyger
9.25.14 – Lydia Thomas
9.26.14 – Ashley Olson
9.27.14 – Angel Roman
9.28.14 – Rosalie Valentine
9.29.14 – Aubrei Crooke-Adams
9.30.14 – Sarah Grimm
10.01.14 – Jon Del Arroz
10.02.14 – Amy Brandes
10.04.14 – Kathrese McKee
10.07.14 – Karen DeBlieck
10.09.14 – Bethany Jennings
10.10.14 – Angie Brashear
10.13.14 – Adam Collings
10.15.14 – Bree Courtney
10.20.14 – Gretchen Engel
10.24.14 – JC Morrows
10.30.14 – Lisa Godfrees

8 Responses to If I had One Year Left

  1. Kessie

    Oh my, that’s quite a list! I think my list would be similar to yours.

    • J.L. Mbewe

      Hi Kessie! Thanks for stopping by! Yeah, reading it just now…seems a bit full, eh? I imagine many mamas with young kiddos would have similar lists. 🙂

  2. Georgina

    What a concept! Definitely important to consider and be mindful of throughout life.
    If I had one year left to live, I too would drop writing. I would spend time with my family, focus more on reading my Bible and drawing close to God, and I would be really active in serving my community. I think service would become especially important for me if I knew that I had only one year left on earth.
    Thanks so much for sharing this book and your thoughts with us! 🙂

    • J.L. Mbewe

      Hi Georgina, thanks for stopping by! I agree. I think it is important for us to consider the frailness of life. I have found it is so easy to get caught up in things that are so temporal, leaving me short tempered with my kiddos and overwhelmed with my to-do list. Ha! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Lisa Godfrees

    Just so you know…I live REALLY close to NASA. So if you do ever want to come for a visit… 🙂

    I would stop writing to journal as well. Strange how that is, isn’t it?

    Enjoyed your post!

  4. Allison Ruvidich

    Wow… This is a thought-provoking post. As a young person, my attention would be on my parents. I would cancel every standardized test I have coming up this year, and I would insist we eat meals together. : ) I would record a CD for them of me singing… ;’) I’m going to end now before this gets too emotional.

I love hearing from you!

J.L Mbewe - Author