The past three days, I took a pause from my life.
Instead I mourned the death of a friend and said my final goodbyes to her. I spent time with a friend who is battling cancer, another who walked out of an abusive marriage and is raising her two children on her own. I also reached out to a friend who lost a parent a few months, and met my grandaunt and uncle after a few years.
I did not intend for these meetings, but life and loss gave me the opportunity to partake in these lives.
It was not easy. To say goodbye.
Or to see the ones I cared for being handed the cards life had dealt them.
It was a painful reminder that we are not in control.
Any minute, any moment now life could shake things up.
We could wake up tomorrow and realise that a nagging pain was a sarcoma; We may have to accept an illness, a tumour as it grows into a part of us, refusing to let go.
We may have to learn to live without the people who held and cradled us through every happy and sad moment of our lives.
We may have to end up waiting for a message we know for sure will never come our way.
We may have to let go of people we love while leaving our doors and hearts open for them to walk in whenever they can.
We may have to give up all that we have, the life we are used to and take a lonely stand, one that is free from abuse and humiliation.
Life could force us to start from scratch, build again. It could require us to let our partner chase some dreams even as we may need to become a single parent.
There maybe no preparing for these speedbreakers and potholes that come out of the blue. And though my friends and family were dealing with Illness, joblessness, loss, loneliness and heartbreak, what life had not been able to take from them was a SPIRIT that refused to be beaten.
But what each of them showed me was that no matter how shaken up we are, how broken we may feel, how shattered the news that comes our way, our SPIRIT can lift us through it all.
We can go through every day in the faith that a better tomorrow will come.
I leave in the knowledge, that sometime soon, life may rock our boat too. I go with the lesson that when that happens, you and I must simply move on, go on, refusing to lie still or give up.
And in that spirit I return to my everyday, to my work, and my family.
May our SPIRIT be unbreakable, our DETERMINATION unhindered and our FAITH unfettered.