It has been a while since I have put "pen to paper" here on Blussh. Life has slapped me in the face lately and in response, my time has been swept away by my own tears. I come to you a little weathered from a recent storm to remind you (and myself) that hardship makes us stronger. Let me tell you about it...
hock is a sobering encounter with an unrelenting truth, something I deeply experienced Saturday May 18 2013. It started with a call from my sister Sarah, to tell me that our dear Grandfather was in an ambulance after having a heart attack, and while they were trying to revive him, his heart was without a beat... I had just purchased an Aztec hot chocolate from our local chocolatier, after walking out and about with Chad and Emi. We were making our way back home on that beautiful afternoon, when the mobile rang. I had to find a bench to stumble upon, as the shock washed over me and the tears started staining my cheeks. He was only 76, fit and healthy. How could this be?
We raced home, packed our bags, Chad and I quickly embraced as I shook in his arms, and we jumped in the car to make a 50 minute trip to be with the family.
alf way there, we got a second phone call. This time my mum was on the other end, and the very words we were praying against since phone call number one echoed in my ears. He is dead. Pain gripped my heart, and I felt as though my chest would explode. Nothing could take away the arresting reality of that surreal moment. Sudden or unexpected were understatements, and as the family gathered into a small room at the hospital that night, we were all stunned beyond belief.
I will never forget the words my Nan spoke again and again in that moment... "My beautiful boy is gone". That sums up not only my Grandfather (affectionately called Fossil), but also his relationship with his bride. Fossil was indeed a beautiful man, gentle and kind, a friend to all, a wonderful husband and family man, and a hero to his community. He gave over 50 years of his life as a volunteer to the Royal Fire Brigade, and also served in the National Service when he was a young adult. His family were his pride and joy, and his marriage was one we all looked up to. He was our hero too.
The following week was a blur. We all pulled together to organise his funeral and somehow managed to get through it. My Nan kept saying "I will just have to live life a moment at a time"... ords that best described the mutual anguish.
I have never lost anything so dear to my heart until now. I am not sure how to explain it, but I can tell you one thing, it completely rocked my perspective. In the time I spent reconciling with the awful fact that Fossil was gone, my whole world started to look different. From the brokenness, a beautiful validation came. I had suddenly realised how important life is, how special family is, how relationships and friendships are a beautiful gift and how our problems are small compared to the wonder of life and love.
Fossil left us with nothing but a strong legacy of integrity, faith, good character and kindness. I now desperately want that for my children, and my children's children.
Where do I go from here? Honestly, I don't know... But this new level of vulnerability brings a refreshing revelation that I will live out for the rest of my life. Life is too short not to be better today than you were yesterday. Life is too precious not to pursue greatness, for yourself, but mostly for those around you. And life itself should be filled with anything but regret.
I don't want to get to the end of my life, only to look back and cringe because I treated people with disrespect, yelled at my husband, and had no patience for my kids. In the end, only your character remains.
Love Heids Xx