Friday, 23 March 2012

What if tomorrow never comes ?

Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God.
Mary Manin Morrissey

I have felt very intense emotion this week.
A well respected special education support teacher from my sons' school passed away suddenly from a brain aneurysm (so I was told) .

I can't explain why I feel so sad.
I didn't know her at all.
Though , she was 48, only a few years older than I am and it feels close.
One son knew this teacher more than the other because he saw her for some learning support.

She was a much loved, well respected community member .
My sons witnessed their teachers being upset as they broke the news . Even my five year olds were acutely aware of their teacher crying and one passing tissues to her colleague,  "helping each other" and how sad everyone was.

The newsletter advised her passing , after we all knew . They explained that the children had been visited in their classrooms by the School Counsellor and Principal to talk about dealing with grief and sadness. They encouraged parents to talk to their children about her too.

Her funeral is later today and teachers from other schools in the area volunteered to supervise the children who remain at school so all the staff could attend.

The following is something I have received by email a few times, I just needed to be reminded of it.

Take Hold of Every Moment
by Author Unknown

A friend of mine opened his wife's underwear drawer and picked up a silk paper wrapped package:

"This, - he said - isn't any ordinary package." He unwrapped the box and stared at both the silk paper and the box.

"She got this the first time we went to New York, 8 or 9 years ago. She has never put it on. Was saving it for a special occasion.

Well, I guess this is it. He got near the bed and placed the gift box next to the other clothing he was taking to the funeral house, his wife had just died. He turned to me and said:

"Never save something for a special occasion. Every day in your life is a special occasion".

I still think those words changed my life. Now I read more and clean less. I sit on the porch without worrying about anything. I spend more time with my family, and less at work. I understood that life should be a source of experience to be lived up to, not survived through. I no longer keep anything. I use crystal glasses every day. I'll wear new clothes to go to the supermarket, if i feel like it. I don't save my special perfume for special occasions, I use it whenever I want to. The words "Someday..." and "One Day..." are fading away from my dictionary. If it's worth seeing, listening or doing, I want to see, listen or do it now.

I don't know what my friend's wife would have done if she knew she wouldn't be there the next morning, this nobody can tell. I think she might have called her relatives and closest friends.

She might call old friends to make peace over past quarrels. I'd like to think she would go out for Chinese, her favourite food. It's these small things that I would regret not doing, if I knew my time had come. I would regret it, because I would no longer see the friends I would meet, letters... letters that i wanted to write "One of this days". I would regret and feel sad, because I didn't say to my brothers and sons, not times enough at least, how much I love them.

Now, I try not to delay, postpone or keep anything that could bring laughter and joy into our lives. And, on each morning, I say to myself that this could be a special day. Each day, each hour, each minute, is special.

Our local radio, a very sombre voice, reads funeral notices each morning - I knew I would hear her's this morning, there were so many today.

The school noticeboard proudly displays a message of love for her today too.

Today,  I am grateful for today and the hope of tomorrows to take hold of every moment.

I think of the things I've been putting off doing and I am scheduling them in.

PS - Is it a coincidence that my oldest (yes and she is 1 day older than me) friend who I haven't spoken to in months or seen in years decided to message me today.

Finally -
Live every day as if it were your last and then some day you'll be right. 
 ~H.H. "Breaker" Morant

(I do love Garth Brooks version just as much)