People watching has been a favourite past time of mine, for forever. I love it. Humans amaze me. The way we act, the things we all say, even the way we all interact with each other and the world around us. I think there’s a lot to learn in life, just by simply sitting in quiet observation. So, if you have ever passed through the town of Mullumbimby, you would understand that it’s the perfect place for it. A cuppa in one hand, and you can sit back and watch the colourful folks as they walk on by.
As I drank my chai, and waited for my appointment one morning, my attention was drawn to a middle aged man sitting at the cafe next door. He was well dressed, sipping coffee and talking loudly whilst he munched on breakfast. It was hard not to notice him.
Around his wrist was a hospital bracelet, and in the fold of his arm was a cotton ball and a bandaid. Evidence of a blood test.
Opposite him sat a friend. They looked close in age and were dressed in a similar fashion. They were eating what appeared to be the same kind of breakfast. The energy between them, was that of long term friends. Banter flowed easily and they looked comfortable in each other’s presence.
“I want to go out with a bang!” He said loudly with a mouth full of food, “like a typical Leo. I want a band playing and a nice spread.” He then continued to eat his breakfast, while his friend froze and suddenly looked mortified. Shaking his head in a disapproving manner, his friend leaned in and rapt him across the knuckles. He quietly suggested that he shouldn’t be thinking or speaking like that.
“WHY?!” He argued. “In a lot of cultures you make friends with death… keeping it up on your left shoulder.” He winked cheekily and stuffed more spinach into his mouth. Chewing thoughtfully, he told his friend that he was at peace with his diagnosis and whatever was to come of it. He placed his fork on the table and smiled.
His friend again scolded him, this time in a more serious manner. He appeared genuinely shocked, as if he truly could not believe the words he was hearing. Laughing loudly in reply, he grabbed his fork and scooped up as much food as he could on to it. He held it up high, right in front of his face.
“All this talk about death is making me hungry. Did you hear what I said?” He was practically shouting. “DEATH, is making me HUNGRY!” He shoved the fork full of food into his mouth in an un-graceful and theatrical way.
The conversation continued for a few more minutes, this time at a more sensible volume. Then his friend left. The look on his face suggested he had had enough talk of death for today.
It’s interesting to note, that even though we are all headed that way, death is still such a taboo subject. One surrounded by fear and mystery and met with great sadness by most. Just the mere mention of it can provoke anxiety in some.
During the years post diagnosis of my twins, my own mortality and all the fear around it became a very legitimate concern.
“Who will look after my babies if something happens to me?”
“How could anyone care for these children the way I do?”
“What happens if I die suddenly and there’s no time for me to pass on every minute detail about my childs health conditions and their intricate set of needs?”
“Where will my children live?”
“How will my children go on without me?”
It was something I spoke a lot about in talk therapy. After I unpacked it, I also realised what it ACTUALLY was. For me personally, it was a fear for my children’s futures and what it would look like for them. It was also fear of my OWN future and how it would play out. My therapist assured me that it was a very common thing to go through, and all a part of the grief that can bubble up after receiving the news of a childs diagnosis.
Three years ago, I also watched one of my parents become seriously ill, decline rapidly and pass over in a very short space of time. This came after a lifetime of working, scrimping and saving, going without and forever waiting until “tomorrow.”
Then one day, there were no more “tomorrows” left.
All of this has woken me up to the fact that we are certainly not around forever. In fact, it’s been my highest motivation to start “living.” So now, I don’t delay the things that are important. I act on ideas, and say the words that need to be said.
Time really is one of the only THINGS we have, and spending it wisely is now priority.
Any money that gets spent in our house on quality food or supplements that are keeping us well, we all consider an investment in our health.
Sometimes we get nudges from the Universe. Synchronicities, signs, symbols and messages appear, showing us we are on the right track, or encouraging us to be aware of what’s really important in this life. Taking in all that went on at the coffee shop, was one of them.
Be sure to greet these gentle, everyday reminders, with a full heart and an open mind. When we look through eyes of gratitude, every day we get on this planet, with the people that we love, truly is a blessing.
This post has been contributed by our regular guest blogger Kristy. Kristy is a homeschooling mother of 3 who enjoys travelling & living the slow life with her beautiful family. You can find Kristy over at @little_platypus_learning on instagram to stay up to date with where life takes them next!