Did you enjoy it? Did you share it with friends? Did you hug your loved ones? Did you make it as good as it could be?
Last Thursday morning I woke up to a text which shook me to the core. My fun loving, lively, fit, active, ‘healthy’ cousin had become ill during the night, and shortly after passed away. She was fifty five, the mother to three and a soulmate to her husband.
Can you imagine living your life as normal today and bowing out tonight? Can you imagine not being here tomorrow? Or waking up tomorrow without your companion or friend?
I have always known life is not guaranteed but I think I’d become complacent. Before writing this I went into two of my daughters bedrooms. They are aged twenty four and fourteen. Both have experienced the reality of loss. Each of my daughters has a reminder within their room that life is precious.
In my eldest girls bedroom is a beautiful photograph of a group of young girls, gathered close together, their faces almost touching, smiling brightly. The photo is in a frame with the word, ‘LIVE’ carved on top. One of those happy girls was working alongside my daughter one afternoon, just before Christmas three years ago. Walking ahead of my daughter she went into a room to get a glass for a customer. My daughter followed moments later and found her on the floor. Despite immediate care and a lot of work by paramedics, there was nothing they could do. She was gone, at nineteen years of age.
Today having read that note, which I do often, I left and went to my youngest daughters room. She also has seen too much death, having watched her friend grieve over the short illness and death of her little brother, Ben, aged just six years. Three weeks later we were back in the same church saying goodbye to young Daniel aged thirteen who had leukemia. It was a lot for an eleven year old to experience and for a time it rocked her world.
As I walked into her room I saw her reminder. It is a photo frame split into two sides. On one side is a collage of photos of family and friends all having fun, on the other side of the large frame she has put this note,
Both my daughters are young, but both have learned very early that life is indeed precious, something we all need to be reminded of now and again. If you have read this far perhaps you can take this as your reminder for today.
Codladh Sámh Anne, cousin and pal of childhood days. You will be hugely missed by so many. Xxx