A Life Less Lived

Like a lot of teachers l tend to mark my life in the number of weeks before the next break. 6 weeks to go before Christmas. 2 weeks to go before half term. 4 weeks to go before the end of the year. It is the same with a child – always looking for the next development, the next tooth, the crawling, the walking. Before you know it a year has passed.

But yesterday l was brought up short, quite literally.

I was listening to a Women’s Hour podcast from Radio 4 as l ran last night. It was an interview with a lady whose daughter had passed away from colon cancer on Christmas Day. aged only 36 and leaving behind twin 5 year old boys and a husband. The story was so poignant that l had to walk as l wiped away the tears. I couldn’t ever imagine leaving my family behind, not seeing The Boy grow up. The thought of it makes my stomach twist.

Later, when l returned from my run, l had a phone-call with my Dad. My stepmother was diagnosed with stomach cancer and ovarian cancer in December, and is supposed to be mid-way through chemotherapy. I was expecting to hear how the last session went, but instead the phrase “palliative care until the end of her life” echoed through the room.

As l sank into a whirlwind of negative “What If” thoughts, berating myself for wishing my life away and not mentally recording each day for posterity, l was reminded of something someone said at my Granny’s funeral: Life is for Living. I realised, then, that the reason l count the days and weeks is because those are the times l spend making memories with the people l love the most, because l get excited about new adventures, because every day is full of new experiences and l look forward to that.

I just hope these is never a time when someone tells me that the days l count are numbered.

13 thoughts on “A Life Less Lived

  1. Beautifully said. A dear friend of mine is in the final stages of cancer as well but I have never met anyone so full of life. He lives every day to the fullest despite his pain. Such a good reminder that all our days are numbered, whether we know how long we have or not, so we need to give as much love as we can. So sorry about your stepmother, hopefully she is able to still find happiness in her days.

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  2. Life is for living. Thank you for reminding me of this, after a tough couple of years with a tragic loss I became very angry with the world until I also realised that Life is precious. Life is for living not for wasting it on being angry.

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  3. We are inquisitive beings by nature I think always looking for something else. There are just too many cliches for a situation like this, I’m learning quite quickly with a toddler that even the worst of times (which are`nt really that bad) make the best memories here and now.

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  4. Beautiful post, and a reminder we all need. I’ve seen too many friends pass too young in recent years, and even loved ones who pass at a ripe age, and it does always wake me back up to the “life is for living” lesson. And the tiny, beautiful moments in the day are just as important as the big adventures. Be in the moment, whatever that brings..

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  5. Sorry to hear about your sad news. We’ve had a similar shock this year that has made me think about not letting the days slip through our fingers. It’s a clichΓ© but being reminded that we aren’t here forever does make you appreciate the incredible fact that we are here at all.

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