Friday, 17 April 2009

Make the most of everyday.....

My Mum has just left the house to mutually comfort a close friend and former colleague due to death this evening of one of their friends and colleagues of almost 30 years. I too am upset as this lovely lady has been involved with our family during all that time. Her husband is one of the nicest guys you could imagine. Ann was only 63. She went to bed last week leaving him watching the Masters golf tournament. A hour or so later she had a massive stroke and has never regained consciousness.

Clive's brother also had a stroke last week - he is affected physically and although recovering will be unable to work again. A friend last week was worried not to meet me as I was still in hospital - this week she is visiting her Dad in another hospital because he was badly injured this week in a hit and run incident.

I was at a Liverpool Chamber of Commerce event last night and was chatting to a gentleman about mental illness. He has a friend who this time last year had a 'perfect' life. Currently she is in a very sorry state in a psychiatric ward having 'fallen apart' following redundancy.

Consequently tonight I find myself in an upset place. Yes - an inspirational speaker does do sad. Having been so poorly myself last week I am now appreciating just being out of a hospital bed and the worse I face is some keyhole surgery and the prospect of never having any more children - a dream which I have to begin to face is over. BUT I am alive. Life is difficult at the moment having left my husband Nick and still trying to see Dominic as much as I can when as an almost teenager (next weekend!) he wants his Apple Mac and his friends. BUT I am alive.

The last two weeks have really brought it home to me how life can so drastically change in ways we cannot imagine. How much time do we waste on silly niggles? Worrying about this and that? None of us knows what is around the corner - maybe it is just as well.

Last Thursday night I had just come round from an operation and was floating on medication; a week on I had a wonderful evening in Liverpool watching a Beatles tribute band in the Cavern Club and floated around on the atmosphere and company. Life is such a roller coaster.

I began my next book today on Patient Care. I want to continue to make those health professionals who we need at times like this, realise what is important and that when we get it, it is appreciated. That the simple acts of kindness are what really make a difference and we need those special people.

Clive has just sent me a message to say that 'Life is a privilege not a right - we should indeed enjoy each small gift of a day.'.

I truly hope that Ann and her family were treated with the kindness, compassion and dignity they all deserved. My thoughts are certainly with them at this very sad time.

So what will you do now that you have been putting off? What will you do to treat yourself or someone close to you. Mum just sobbed before she left 'It's the thing that you never get to say goodbye'. Which friend will you make contact with now that you haven't seen or heard from in a long while? I am so very, very guilty of that but then again I am aware that my new 'status', i.e. of being separated, has made some decide they no longer wish to be my friend. That is sad too. We are all guilty of judging how others should live their lives without allowing for understanding or even listening to what has made someone change direction or circumstances.

Life IS too short. We have to make the most of it. I don't mean by being selfish but just let someone you love know you appreciate them - because like Mum says - you may not get the chance to say goodbye.



Anonymous said...

Hello Elaine, I am very sorry to hear of everything you have been through the last week or so. I just hope that all these experiences have a silver lining in way of your new book.

I wanted to comment on something you wrote about the loss of friends due to your 'status' and wondered what you meant by that? You see I believe that if you think yourself as having 'status', it's almost building a barrier around yourself. The people I know who are friends of yours I am certain see you as a person like anyone else. I would be amazed if they saw you as someone almost 'better' than them.

I am saddened that you feel you may have lost friends,though I think it is something that happens to all of us. And I hope your current outlook on things helps rekindle some of those relationships.

Times like these remind us all how damned lucky we are, and make us re-evaluate so much. I guess this has all made you think alot about life in general. I hope your mother is ok and you all get back on track soon! Good luck with the book! As someone who has recently begun my training as a mental health nurse I will be very interested to read it when it is published!

All the best,

Helen Auld

Anonymous said...

Hi Elaine,

Sorry to hear of your recent break-up.

In response to your comment about your friends' reaction to your new 'status', and their decision to no longer be friends with you, surely you need to ask yourself if they were ever really true friends to begin with?

I believe true friends (and this includes family too) are those who know the real you, support you whatever you choose to do, regardless of whether they agree with your decison or not and most of all, be there to pick you up when you fall and not say "I told you so".

Ask yourself if this applies to your 'friends'.

Yours, Hazel