It always strikes me how beautiful I find the world to be. Particularly in Winter. A memory that stays with me from before I started to live life in recovery. I was lying in my bed. I was looking out the window in Winter. It was a grey day. It was cold. It was, to me, bleak and sad. One of my favourite types of day in my new life, are exactly those days. Winter. Cold. Frosty. Grey. Still. I find these days to be haunting and to be beautiful and I love the stillness of them. These days have not changed. I have changed. What I see changes. My perspective has changed.
The Small Daughter turned 7 today. We had a family tea party which we always do now when we have a birthday. There will be the usual mayhem at the weekend of a busy kids party, but when we have a birthday, an anniversary, we have a tea party or a meal at a local restaurant. We started this tradition in 2010. 2010 was the year my dad got cancer.
Dad is in remission now. We have had a lot more family get-togethers since then. There are defining moments in our lives and there are defining moments in families. Dad getting cancer was one of those moments for us, as it is, tragically, for so many people and so many families.
Today, my sister learned of another of her friends who has passed away from cancer. She was 38 last weekend. At my sister’s birthday meal, (see what I mean with the get-togethers!), on Saturday evening we were discussing that it is actually an achievement now to get to age 40. So many people, of all ages of course, are getting sick and not making it even as far as 40. It puts it in perspective.
I have watched people I love lose people, I have close friends who have cancer or who had cancer, I am part of a family visited by cancer right through it’s generations. One of my good friends who has survived both cancer and liver failure told me that she finds it very difficult to do anything she doesn’t want to do. Because life is so precious and why should she waste a second of it. Her words stay with me and I hope they always do. All of my experiences, and possibly the fact that I am no longer a ‘spring chicken’, have taught me these things. We must live our life as we choose, as is right for us, following our own calling and the stirrings of our own heart. We must embrace our life, even when it is hard we must keep participating in it. We must search for and find the beauty and the goodness that is there if we seek it. We must take our happiness where we find it. We must be kind and mindful of each other. We must drown out all the noise and go where the love is.
So I loved our family tea party. I loved having everyone here. I loved that The Man came along and helped me with all the cooking. Ok, so he did all the cooking. I loved that my sister was early and we had a catch up about all the latest happenings, she owns a business in town and always just knows stuff! I loved that The Small Daughter extended her invite to my brother-in-laws parents because she sees them as her adopted grandparents, I loved listening to the chatter, I loved listening to all the stories, I loved how my mum comes alive when she has an audience, and she is a rascal! I loved the noise of 3 generations of a close family.
Rest In Peace to all those that we have loved who we have lost to whatever illness or accident or cause. And particularly today, rest in peace to Orla. Who like everyone who has been greatly loved, will never be forgotten.