Cancer, career, Children, dying, emotional, Flower, friendships, health, home, hospital, Johnathan Livingston Seagull, life, lifestyle, marriage, mental, Nat King Cole, paradise, single mom, The Little Prince, Tuesday With Morrie
I’ve been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me.
I promised that my next article would be about the “things my father taught me”
But recently I had a life changing experience, which I would like to share with you today. The title of this article is from a Randy Crawford song… Which resonates with me currently.
Why not start at the beginning of the series
There are so many things I regret about my life. I’m going to list them below. I do however put a disclaimer out there, I hold fast to the idea that some of these things have in the long run shaped me into the person I need to learn to live with. And I have raised three amazing girls that despite everything have turned out to be extremely powerful young ladies.
- I didn’t identify my mental health before it was almost too late.
- Having children, which didn’t allow me to pursue my career. I had decided early in my life, I didn’t want to have children.
- Going home, needed help from the people and a lifestyle I no longer valued
- Losing out on my “experimental twenties”.
- Putting my whole life on hold to raise my girls, not realizing that someday they would be doing their own thing without me. Wanting me, but no longer needing me.
- Never cultivating friendships which I would need later. I distanced myself from people, due mainly because I was a single mom, I had no time.
- Staying in an emotional and physically abusive marriage for 10 years, and then being in other relationships with the same aspects because I believed that’s what I deserved.
That’s a small taster…
I recently had the privilege of spending an entire week with my brother who is dying of cancer, he is in the last stages. My whole objective for flying from Johannesburg to Cape Town was simply to spend one on one time with him. The “almost husband” wasn’t happy, he felt it might have a very negative affect on my mental health. Which was understandable. However it turned out the complete opposite. After the week, I felt a sense of closure. I was ready to let go.
We managed to talk about things we have never had the opportunity to talk about…
We spent every waking moment together.
He has reached the stage of not being able to sleep in the state of the art hospital bed bought for him, situated in the same room. He now has a lazy boy chair. Which he lives and sleeps in. We decided that I would sleep in the bed next to him, so we could talk when he was awake, no matter what time. We called it ward M. While he slept I read, something I have not had the privilege of doing recently.
I would wake up and give him his meds at two am, and then again at six am… At the six am slot, he has toast and coffee. It took me a few days to get to grips with how he needed his toast. The cancer in his mouth is so severe he can only eat soft food, so it has to be toasted in a certain way. And oh wow he is fussy about how his coffee is served!
We spoke about so much; we covered life, decisions, and the fear of knowing you are going to die.
On my first day I decided that I would read to him when he was awake…. We agreed on The Little Prince as our first book. A book loaded with life gems. Sadly we didn’t get to finish the book before I left. Then I realized I could voice note him from here so we could finish the book all these miles apart. We have subsequently finished ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ and have recently started ‘Tuesday with Morrie’.
The reason for my long drawn out story was simply to highlight how fragile life is, that we too are living on borrowed time. We don’t know when the Universe will call us home.
Let go of the regrets, make up with that loved one, and never take the fragility of life for granted.
“I will see your face in every flower, your eyes in stars above, it’s just the thought of you, the very thought of you my love” – Nat King Cole
“Sylvia Rose’s Story” is a monthly series, written by ‘J’burg Gypsy’.
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