When Death Collects It’s Dues…..


The past month and a half has been tremendously difficult. False starts. Stops. Losses. And second thoughts. All of which has left me questioning my ability to find lasting happiness. Once upon a long while ago, I just tossed things aside. Compartmentalized them. And move on. However, it’s becoming more difficult to do so. Perhaps I am getting old. And soft. This post will deal with one issue. Death. In one week, I received word my 25 yr old cousin had finally succumbed to the effects of cancer. Next, an accomplished and well-respected friend, who I absolutely adored, passed away in Utah. Then, my younger sister also lost her father to cancer.

Everyone has been, or will be touched by the death of a loved one. Or friend. Many times over. When someone we love dies, inevitably we look at our own mortality. It’s hard to avoid knee jerk reactions. To make promises to ourselves. And to others. Some we keep. Others are forgotten. And after time passes, the rest is no longer important. For some unexplained reason, these recent deaths have affected me, more than most. In light of recent weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on life. Regrets. And the need for personal housekeeping.

My cousin, and my sisters’ dad knew the approximate rest of their days. They had time to prepare. To accomplish last-minute goals. Say  final goodbyes. Get stuff in order. Many of us wont. On a personal note,  if I knew when my number would be up, I would go out with guns blazing! But alas, I don’t. I wondered how many couldas, shouldas, and wouldas I am likely to have. It’s impossible not to have regrets. However, I can try to minimize them.

I pondered what I would do, if I knew how much time I had remaining. How would I handle relationships which do not make me happy. Make amends. Or finally get something “off my chest”. How I would live out the rest of it. Below is a list of things which immediately flooded my thoughts. The ones beneath my subconscious. I hope to slowly, and methodically, check them off my list in the coming months.

Here is a sample of things I plan on changing:

  • Finally getting on that terrifying roller coaster ride which catapults more than 5 feet in the air.
  • Make amends for things I knew I did wrong.
  • Do not accept scraps of attention and affection from a partner who is either unwilling or unable to give more.
  • Diligently seeking a partner who “gets me”. Patient with my faults. Willing to try hard to make things work.
  • Get over the fear of sky diving. And just do it.
  • Visit the places on my “List of places to visit before I die”.
  • Make it clear what I want in a relationship and in the same vein refusing to settle.
  • Going solo to a club or activities.
  • Doing what everyone expects of me.
  • Being the one to ask a chap out on a date, instead of waiting for them to ask me.

There is a bit more! However,these should keep me busy for a few months. You get the idea. In closing, the dawning of a new day represents  another opportunity to make use of the time allotted to us. Untold numbers did not see the sun rise this morning. There is no time left for them carry out their plans. They won’t get to apologize for a harsh word. Hold their loved ones close. Whisper words of love and encouragement. They won’t get to see their children grow up. Nor will they attend another wedding. Graduation. Etc. But we did. We have today.

We’ve been given one more chance. What will we do with it? If there is someone in your life that you need to reach out to. Do it. Do you need to settle a misunderstanding. Do it. Perhaps the need to express love and appreciation to. Do it. Say goodby to someone in order to make room for someone or something better. Do it. Don’t wait for tomorrow. There are no more tomorrows for my cousin. Respected friend. My sisters’ father. None. Tomorrow is not ours. We live on borrowed time. One day, it will run out. As it always does. This has never been clearer to me than in the past few weeks.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

I Was The One


On my page “Think to Thank”, I find something to be grateful for each day. No matter how small. Or trivial. The going often gets rough. Often, it’s often difficult to see the blessings. Many days reviewing small daily miracles offer consolation. And hope. They serve to remind me I have so much. In this post, I wish to share some experiences which have affected me over the past few months. The times when I was the one.

To Louise, the owner of Passionate about Flowers on Lower Bristol Road in Bath. I thank you. A few weeks ago, I was invited for a job assessment in Bath. If I was successful, it would mean returning the next day for a face to face interview. Upon arrival at the station, I went against my better judgment and decided to walk the 15 minute journey to the destination. Well, after getting hopelessly lost and asking for and receiving wrong directions more than once, I was about to give up. However, I decided to try one last business.  I walked into Passionate About Flowers  and explained what I was about. Louise immediately got online in an attempt to pinpoint the location. Taking it a step further, she asked if I wanted her to give me a lift there! And she did. This one simple act of kindness derailed all the bad luck I had moments before. Louise left her business, to help a stranger she might never, ever see again. I will never forget her act of kindness. Thanks Louise.

In another instance, while waiting for my BRP to be finalized, I was hired on a temp basis for a local health and social services organization. I relied heavily on public transportation. One day, I changed handbags, and to my chagrin discovered I somehow forgot my money purse on the bus. I am person who has never forgotten her keys. Run out of gas. Or locked herself out of her car! To make matters worse I did not discover my purse was missing for more than 8 hours. To my utter amazement, when it was in my possession again, everything was as I left it. Down to the 1.50 pence I had received as change that morning. I called the bank and made the necessary cancellations, but no one had tried to use it or withdraw funds. I was stunned. The chances of this happening in the USA are nil. To the unknown person who turned my purse into the driver, I thank you.

Once last experience. I got the job in Bath. It meant relocating. Bath is a lovely city! I was helped in unimaginable ways. Perhaps the one-act of kindness which has left an indelible impression on my mind, is the moving process itself. Paul, a kind bloke drove 500 miles round trip to do just that. To be ready for the return trip on Saturday, he spent Friday night at a local hotel. All on his own dime. Moving company fees would have cost me approx 250 pounds. I contributed to his petrol cost. He was not done. Yet. Going the extra mile, he took me around to find items for the new place. Cheered me up during challenging times when I could not see perspective. Checked up on me often. Reminded me over and over that even though things were not what I expected, greater things were happening around me. Paul, I wont ever forget this. Thank you.

Amidst all the ills in the world and the people who perpetrate them, it’s gratifying to know good people still walk the earth. I am acquainted with them. I am grateful for people who make the world a better place for the rest of us. If you are one of those people: NEVER cease to do good. NEVER underestimate the power of your actions upon the lives of others. NEVER think that your contribution does not matter. Because it does. I have been on the receiving end. The one whose life was affected. The one who, because of your kindness, my struggles were easier. Thank you.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan