The One Precious Present Moment – Letting Go Of What Was And What Will Be

What’s happening in your life right now that you are finding hard to accept? I just had to write about this – something has been stewing up in my mind for a very long time. Why do good people suffer, and why are they subject to pain and discomfort? I’ve often wondered why. I asked myself this question every time I look into my mothers face. I don’t see her suffer – I see her hurting from within – asking those questions people on the razor’s edge of life and death try to understand the most: 

  • Why me – what did I do wrong?
  • I didn’t ever imagine this would happen to me
  • I don’t want to leave my loved ones behind
  • I still want more time to do those things I love 

My mum has pancreatic cancer. She’s had it for a while, but it only surfaced in April after she experienced some horrific symptoms. I was apprehensive about her for an extended period, and she went through endless tests. The day came when an ultrasound picked up a tumour – in her pancreas. A stent was inserted to help with bile flow, but now it’s blocked as the cyst has grown. As a result, no medical professional can help her anymore. Chemo is out of the question, and so is radiotherapy. All the time we have left – is all that we are given. For many months I was frustrated, angry and then utterly disappointed. I didn’t understand why it had to be my mum. One fateful day when mum was in the hospital, a woman opposite her in the room was getting ready to leave. Her daughter was helping her pack. She was in the process of chemo and slowly getting used to the constant sickness. I found out she was a year older than mum. I sat back in my chair and watched her talking with the nurse. For a moment, I couldn’t hear anything, but the words are circling in my head. “Why does she get the chance to have chemo – and live a while longer? Why can’t that be my mum, packing her stuff up too – eager to go home and to become well again?” Then I look at my mum sleeping, tears streaming down my face. I would give anything for that woman to be my mum too. One of the hardest things I will have to do is let go – to accept the situation as it is. But, unfortunately, my parent is going to pass away, sooner than I would prefer, earlier than I had hoped for, and too quickly for me. I still need her – not so for anything but to have her loving company. To talk, walk and have a coffee with her. Watching her from the other side of the road every morning, as I walk to my train – and she walks to the bus stop. Those moments I loved – and I won’t be able to experience them again. Perhaps this is why it’s so hard. When you are close to someone – for so long, and then in one moment and isn’t around anymore. I’m writing these words because I want to accept what it is and enjoy the moments I do have. Some days this is easy – but more days than not, it’s hard. The words of Eckart Toll swirl in silence – it is what it is – life is fleeting, yet all we have is this very moment. Logically I understand this and know it’s the truth – but my heart cannot accept it – I’m not sure if anyone else’s is willing to do so in a situation like this. It’s just not fair – this thing called life. We have it for one moment, and then it’s taken away the next. We are with loved ones and turn our backs to have them disappear. As I look at her watching her favourite TV show – I see a person I never thought she would turn out to become. I strive to make her life as lovely as it possibly can be.Giving her engaging spiritual books to read, getting her the food she would like to eat, sitting in the sun with her. Anything that’s needed – I’m there. To me, that’s helping her enjoy those last moments she may have. What does one do to enjoy the very moment they have – I believe it’s out of necessity rather than choice. I wake up every morning thanking God he’s given her to us for another day. I pray every night for him to make her more comfortable, allowing her transition to him become as peaceful as possible. Every day spent with her is a joy. Every conversation over coffee, when we’re having an afternoon tea treat, laughing and even deep in discussion. I seem to forget what the reality is. To me, it’s the usual conversation between my mum and me – just like the ones we used to have. Although this is not what anyone could consider “at the moment,” it’s a pretty realistic representation for me right now. If you, too, find it hard to be present and fretting over the future, take heart and know that this is perfectly normal. We’re only human, and we want certainty. But unfortunately, the confidence we have with something as precious as life is that complete certainty is not going to be given to us – and we have to learn that planet earth existence is day by day. So, when you are having a coffee, enjoy the time it takes to drink it and the conversation & company that goes with it.

Enjoy the laughter and chit chat you have with those around youRelish watching tv with a person you love. And stroll deliberately in green spaces. Look at the different trees, the people around and anything that catches your eyes. Take it in and give it a prayer of thankfulness for its existence. That’s a good enough present moment for all of us trying to experience peace and enlightenment while in a world of pain.

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