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The Best Life

June 20, 2023

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13, NIV).


His cancer has recurred for the third time and will likely take his life over the next few months, but he is still ambulatory and eating well. At 87, he has lived a full life with many difficulties. He was one of those heroic men caught in the “Coldest Winter” at Chosin reservoir during the Korean conflict with thousands of Chinese soldiers pouring over the Korean border. He had been married twice, losing one wife to renal failure and the other to cancer. He lives alone but had sweet neighbors bringing him to clinic.


At least four times today, he said to me, “You know, if I died today, I would have had the best life that anyone ever had.”


I mentioned the promise of heaven.


He agreed and responded with moist eyes, “I am so much looking forward to seeing my mom and dad again.”


What does it take to have the best life possible? What does it take to know that you have lived the best life possible?


Does it take frozen feet and lost buddies in Korea? Does it take losing your mom and dad and two wives? Does it take cancer recurrence and all its consequences?


Some men and women have earned the right to speak with authority, as has this patient. I can’t chalk his claims up to superficial, hopeful banter. He knows he has had a wonderful life, even with the suffering and losses.


He is a man of faith whose joy is independent of circumstances. He is a man whose hope is in heaven. He is one who knows that life’s value is based on relationships with God and relationships with those we love. He has been fully satisfied with life because the God he knows walks beside him through it all. He is fully satisfied with death because he rests his hope in the One he knows.


Dear Father,

Thank you for the best life anyone ever had.



Al Weir, MD

Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.

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