This morning as I pulled into the parking lot at work I saw one of the Senior VP’s, limping pretty badly. She was well ahead of me, heading for the front doors, with someone helping her down the steps of the front garden and through the process of lugging open our heavy front doors.
I couldn’t tell what was going on – it was the sort of general inability to walk with speed or confidence that you see in all sorts of situations – everything from a stroke to knee surgery to a broken leg. I wondered what had happened and for some reason it made me think the worst … a stroke?
My mind also flashed back to the movie I’d seen on the way home from New York – The Theory of Everything – how Steven Hawking had slowly lost his ability to manoeuvre in day to day life. How that diagnosis turned his life from fine and good to… not fine. The devastation that comes with diagnosis.
As it turns out, she had an ankle injury, but it just got me thinking of how strange it is that we can go from Fine to Not Fine so quickly. It only takes a single moment or circumstance.
This is not meant to be gloomy – but just more on my recent shift to gratitude overall.
I thought of the day last year when we found out that my uncle had passed away. How the world stopped so suddenly. A normal evening, a bit of news, a complete change. We spent the next several weeks at my grandparents house, consoling them and my mother (my uncle, her brother, was her very best friend), and my cousin, his daughter.
I spoke at his funeral. But even now, almost a year later to the day – it’s really hard to believe.
My uncle was eccentric and had sold everything he owned in favour of living in the hills of Columbia, in the open air – pretty much under a ‘roof’ with not much else. He visited regularly and stayed in the spare room at my grandparents house.
Some of the family thought he was out of his tree! But he was so happy there, so at peace among the waterfalls and the rolling green. He was such a lover of nature. And a lover of life.
Last spring, on the day he passed away, he had spent the morning digging a hole for his neighbour.
Digging a hole.
He went on a hike through the woods later that day and had a heart attack on the way down. He died in minutes.
He was in his 50’s.
I didn’t even mean for this post to be about him but as we get closer to the day it happened, one year ago – I feel so much closer to him now than I did when I was ‘my former self’ – a bit meaner, a bit more distracted, a bit less aware of the beauty of life and things. (aka: alcoholic.) I’m amazed that even through this whole water saga my heart feels calm, my family is flourishing, and I don’t feel all that stressed out. Wouldn’t have been the case a year ago.
Uncle J, I hope you are a part of the universal energy that has helped me understand life and its gifts a lot better. You were such a great teacher for me in your life and continue to be. I love you.
I can now appreciate that every day – no matter the temperature, no matter the content, so long as we have our health and life – is a fine day.
And a FINE day is a wonderful thing.
P.S. I have a meeting with my agent tomorrow and he’s about to tell me how and to whom he’s going to pitch the novel. OMG. Hope tomorrow is a fine day too. Fingers crossed.