It’s Sunday yet again, and I sit here contemplating time, which yet again has slipped through my fingers like grains of sand.
I’ve often wondered why lately, my head and heart are not in tune with one another as they were before. I conclude that it’s not laziness; it’s tiredness.When your head and heart are consumed with endless pursuits, it can suck the life out of you. Yet, I feel that my soul somehow became extracted this year — a small yet very significant part of it. Thinking back to the catalyst of this moment, I realise that the shift happened during my mum’s cancer diagnosis. I can still vividly remember when my partner called in a panic, saying that mum’s ultrasound discovered a cancerous cyst in her pancreas. During that morning, I was with a beautiful array of ladies, celebrating International Women’s Day. I sat at a table with some inspiring minds, indulging in some lovely conversations. Then, for a small amount of time, I forgot that Mum had her ultrasound appointment.
Then, as we all made it back to the office, the phone call came as I sat at my desk. In an instant, everything changed.
The following two days were a blur, and I watched my mums health deteriorate overnight. More than a month passed & she was still in the hospital, where the doctors tried to find ways to help manage the disease. The unfortunate reality was that mum has kidney disease and diabetes. Kidney disease makes the condition even more deadly.
Chemotherapy would kill her.
Since that day, her diagnosis hasn’t changed, and her cyst is slowly growing in size, blocking the flow of bile.
Now, we are heading towards the end of July, and I think back to how my heart and soul changed during those callous times.
In many of those moments, I felt alone and stuck.
I was coping with the up-keeping of mum in hospital, working remotely & trying to sound happy to colleagues, even though I was dying inside.I was stressed out of my mind and trying my best to keep my head above water. Worrying incessantly if mum was going to live and what I had to do to make that happen.In a way, I haven’t given up, even though the diagnosis is final. Most would say it’s normal to put everything aside for love — and it has become instinctive for me. You only have one mother, and I was lucky enough to have a fantastic one at that. The moments we spend together are precious. Even a walk-in her backyard, standing in the sunshine, fills my heart with love and job.
I have asked myself many times, “what is it that I want out of life.” And the answer to that question is a blank canvas.
There are so many things I and everyone else thinks we want.
- Heaps of money in the bank
- A job that we can work less in and make more money
- A gorgeous house
- Many extravagant holidays
- Being able to buy what you want without a thought
- Having a nice car
- Having a successful and profitable business
The above sounds impressive, and I long to have that, but one thing that I want, which I never seem to have enough of, is:
Time is finite;
It’s something that cannot be bought, sold or traded in for anything. It’s here one minute and gone the next. When you are young, it seems to go by slowly, then as you age, the time seems to disappear in front of your eyes. You wake up one morning and realise that your hair is grey, you have fine lines, wrinkles, and your skin seems to have lost its elasticity. The time has gone, and at that moment, you understand how precious it was. But, then, regret washes over you — “why didn’t I just enjoy the time I had back then?”
Time becomes even more significant when you know someone will die — someone you love, who has been there all your life. For me, that’s my mum. For anyone else, it could be their partner, child or sibling. No matter who it is to you, it will always hurt. And when that moment arrives for anyone, all we want to do is make time stand still, and nothing else in the world matters but those special, small yet significant moments we have left with them. No one knows how much time they have left, but it never seems to be enough. Although my mum is 83, I never thought she’d ever die soon. I imagined her to be old and still healthy to enjoy the service she provides to people less fortunate. That kept her going. But when your time is engraved in the books of the afterlife, then we must let go of the familiarity on earth and transcend to a higher plane.I know that mum has a special place waiting for her, a place where she can see her mother, father, brother, sisters and my dad.Dad has been waiting for her patiently to arrive. As I wait for that day, I sit, look, listen and hug her as much as possible. I walk around her garden, seeing how much love she has for nature, the plants she helped thrive, the beautiful neighbours she has that leave her flowers.She will be missed by many people she’s touched, and no one will miss her more than I.