I'm leaving for a week and would like to leave everyone with this very important lesson. Dear Ann Landers, in July my wife was diagnosed as having terminal cancer. Shortly afterwards, your column on The Station by RJ Hastings appeared in Newsday. For years, we had talked about some day going to Paris, a city I fell in love with as a GI. The day after I read the poem, I realized it as time to pull into the station. As soon as the doctors oked the trip, we went to Paris and had the most beautiful vacation of our 43 years. My lovely wife passed away a year and a half after the diagnosis. I have taken the liberty of passing copies of that column to others. One purchased he some day car, and other went on a long-delayed trip. But the The Station can also mean visiting a sick friend, and that some day should be now. There is so much hurt in looking back and remember those things we intended to do and didnt. Thank you Ann Landers, for Paris and The Station. The Station by Robert J. Hastings Tucked away in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long, long trip that almost spans the continent. We're traveling by passenger train, and out the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hills, of biting winter and blazing summer and cavorting spring and docile fall. But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station. There will be bands playing, and flags waving. And once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true. So many wishes will be fulfilled and so many pieces of our lives finally will be neatly fitted together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering ... waiting, waiting, waiting, for the station. However, sooner or later we must realize there is no one station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us. "When we reach the station, that will be it !" we cry. Translated it means, "When I'm 18, that will be it ! When I graduate from High School, that will be it! When I buy a new Mercedes Benz, that will be it ! When I have paid off the mortgage, that will be it ! When I win a promotion, that will be it ! When I reach the age of retirement, that will be it ! I shall live happily ever after !" Unfortunately, once we get it, then it disappears. The station somehow hides itself at the end of an endless track. "Relish the moment" is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad. Rather, it is regret over yesterday or fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today. So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more and cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.