Just before Christmas 20 years ago, my mother died in a car accident. She was 44 years old.
Today I turn 43.
If I were my mother, I would have 12 months left to live. 12 months to hug my girls and tell them how incredible they are. 12 months to love my husband. 12 months to spend time with my friends. 12 months to get to know my brother and sister better. 12 months…. Not many months, is it?
I wonder how I would live this year differently if it was my last? How would I spend the months, the days, the hours, the minutes?
How would I spend each second?
Are you waiting for me to begin a list of experiences I would arrange and behaviours I would cease?
There is no list…. it is very simple, I should just live my life…. with my eyes open, my mind present and feel every sensation, allow God to use the life He has blessed me with to experience Him. Allow Him to make me a better version of ‘me’ …. This is the life He gave me, this life of mothering my girls through their own dramas, being the best wife I can, being a friend, sister, daughter.
I will open the book of my life and reread chapters, allowing the gratitude for these experiences to wash over me. See Him in them, know they were pieces of the puzzle, pieces of the knowledge of how much He adores me, adores you.
Hot summer nights, swimming in the velvet darkness of a pool at the foot of Table Mountain. Freezing in powdery snow, building snowmen with my girls. Autumn leaves crunching under my feet as I laugh and walk with a friend. Sipping a drink in my garden as the fire pit roars at my feet. Crying as I watch my mother being taken to her final resting place, safe in the arms of her maker.
If these are my final 12 months, your final 12 then we have only to do one thing- experience with gratitude the lives we have been given. Feel every emotion, the heat of the sun our skin, the arms of our loved ones around us, the sound on the ocean crashing. Let our senses be filled with life. Allow ourselves to see the extraordinary blessings we have and embrace them.
That us how we will find who we are and be the best we ‘us’ we can be.
Will you join me?