April 16th. The journey continues …
Over the last few days I have received some sad and tragic news. A previous student of mine had a tragic paragliding accident and passed away. He was only in his twenties. And a beautiful friend of mine from school passed away after a very long battle with depression, leaving behind a young husband and a baby girl. When these kinds of tragedies happen, it makes you hold your family closer and tighter. These things make you realise how fragile life is and how vulnerable we all are. My heart goes out to these two beautiful young people who have died long before they should have; and for their families and loved ones who mourn their loss.
So when you receive news such as this, you then apply that filter to your own circumstances. You try to put yourself into the shoes of the families in mourning. It is overwhelming, tragic and entirely heart breaking. But what I have learnt is that some positives can come from these moments of sadness. I have been chatting with ex-students and school friends of mine constantly over the past few days. We have shared stories and reminisced about happier times spent together with those that we have lost. In our sadness, we are brought together and it’s remarkably affirming and comforting. It reminds that we are all part of something so much bigger than ourselves and so much bigger than just our own little world. We need one another and we grow through our relationships with one another. It is truly remarkable.
After chatting by phone with an old, dear school friend, I went out to collect James early from school. As I was sitting waiting I was watching all the school children interacting with one another – chatting and skipping and laughing. It’s so beautiful to watch. And I found myself wondering what might become of some of these little people in their lives as they get older. At school we are so carefree; so innocent and so unscarred by the difficulties and complexities that life can throw our way. If only we could hold onto that feeling into our adulthood and protect ourselves and our loved ones from the knocks of life.
I collected James. He was quite happy and impressed as he had visited the library and had brought home all kinds of interesting books. Today I had parked at the front of the school as it was raining. James was very unimpressed but to his credit he rallied. We got out to the pedestrian crossing and he yelled, “Stop Mum! You’re walking on the white bits. No walking on the white bits!” I stopped immediately and turned to him … he goose stepped his way across the crossing avoiding all white parts of the road. I then followed him doing the same. I was laughing! James asked me why I was laughing. And I said, “Because you are so funny and adorable, and I love your view of the world!” His response – “Mum – you’re crazy in the coconut!” Hahahaha! God love him!
Unbeknownst to me, one of the teachers had been observing us from afar and she was smiling at us. I just waved in her direction and we both shared a knowing and understanding laugh. This is what life is about. Enjoying small moments like this, not trying to control them or be dismissive of them because you’re in a hurry; or because the process is frustrating. We are all in this together, all of us. We have the ability through the smallest of gestures to make a huge difference in the life of other people. We may not be able to protect others from difficulties and hardship, but we can certainly walk with them on the journey. We can share a smile, a laugh or two, and we can validate the feelings of others and provide a compassionate and listening ear. We are all in this together. Our roads and experiences might be different, but travelling the road of life with beautiful people makes the journey so much more enjoyable.