It was one of those days. The kind of day when everything looks much bleaker than it really is. When everything around you annoys. And you’re deeply in touch with your inner Grinch. When the Is-It-Fresh Brigade make u want to spit nails! You’re forgiven such days. That’s what they always say. No biggie. We all have them. Perhaps…
She walked in at a quiet time. The lunch rush gone. I remember her face from way back when she taught me. Grade One. Twenty seven years ago. Her body may have aged, but her face seems to have survived Time’s sometimes ruthless hand.
She places an order. Asks about my mum who was her colleague. We get to talking.
And then she tells me about her grandson. A four year old who bled to death after a routine tonsillectomy. I feel my blood run cold. In my mind I see my kids. My almost-four year old. The horror and dread fingers the fringes of my mind.
“You know about my son, don’t you? He died in an accident a few years ago.”
I offer my condolences. All the while trying to keep my shock, my horror under wraps. My words sound hollow and inadequate.
“And my husband… he lost his mind when our son died. He was coming right and now with my grandson... He’s back to square one.”
I feel like I’ve just been hit over the head by a celestial anvil!
Such pain. Such loss. I cannot even begin to understand it. Cannot fathom the true depth of their grief. Yet here she stands. A strong woman. Still teaching. Still smiling. Getting through life. Finding reasons to smile. Reasons to “be”.
I watch her leave and I am reminded of how huge a blessing each breath that enters my lungs is. Of how blessed I am to have a mind and body that are healthy. Of how lucky I am to have five healthy (though maddening at times) kids.
Yes, it does feel good to wallow at times. But she got me to ask: Why bother? Life’s too short. Carpe diem…
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Saturday, April 09, 2011
Loving someone means giving them the license to make you miserable. Of course, that isn’t quite how it is in the beginning. Then, it’s all laughter, shared secrets, dreams of forever…
Then one day you wake up. And realize with a start that forever could also be a life sentence….
Or loving someone is giving them the license to make you miserable but trusting that they won’t….For surely a love that is reciprocated, there can be no greater gift on earth. No greater blessing.
“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden where the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring. Who, being loved, is poor?” ~ Oscar Wilde
Being born into a faith is a strange thing. It’s like being born with curly hair. Not something that you have any control over. Some see their faith as an asset and do everything they can to enhance and nurture it. Curl defining mousse, hot oil treatments for faith. You name it. Nothing is too much.
For others it is like a handicap. A cruel joke of fate to be ironed out with every tool at their disposal. GHD, hair irons, gels, styling crèmes. Every hint of a curl, whispers of it must be eradicated. Ever notice though, how when their hair gets wet it’s still curly???
It’s part of that fitrah that we’re all born into.
“The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for You
Not knowing how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere
They are in each other all along
~ Jalaluddin Rumi
A state of mind. How often do we labour under the false notion that it takes another to make us happy. Sure there are people who do. People who fill our hearts with joy and add to our happiness. But at the end of the day, it remains a state of mind. One that we adopt consciously. Willingly. Embrace Happiness and life will embrace you…
Hah! How dare I? For if there was ever a tough beast to master, it is marriage. However much love it may be founded on, it requires respect in equal measure. How ever many rights we’d like to see fulfilled, it requires compromise even more. And above all, it requires hard work! Lots of it!
Of course, this you learn through trial and error. No one tells you this, though everyone wants to offer advice regarding bedroom antics.
If there was one lesson in life that I were to choose to implement ignoring all others, it would be : And to thine own self be true.
A life bereft of honesty with oneself is an empty one indeed.
Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now…