Today, I found out that a lady at my eldest daughter’s school passed away this morning. She was the co-ordinator of the out-of-school care program. I’d talked to this lady before. We shared some laughs. I’d regularly thanked her for holding the school gate open for my kids and I. Although I didn’t know her very well, her sudden death has left a tremendous impact on me and helped me to reflect on the sort of life I want to lead.
Life is short
Simple as it may sound, life really is short. We don’t know when our time will be up. We don’t know what the future holds. But we do know this:
– We have the chance to make a difference with our lives.
– We have the chance to leave people better than before we met them.
– We have the chance to tell people how we really feel about them.
– We have the chance to be kind, to make others laugh, to be supportive, to be understanding, to be there for each other.
There’s plenty in life to be uncertain about – but rather than focus on that – we should be focusing on what we are in control of.
Photo Credit: tiverylucky / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Appreciate those around you
I’ve gone through my fair share of emotional pain, but having the strength and courage to forgive others has given me so much peace. Find it in your heart to forgive others not just for them, but for you. Don’t let anger and resentment take over your life. Don’t let the pain of the past erode your future.
My Mum, one of the most important people in my life, used to call me horrible names as a child. She told me to be quiet whenever I cried. She didn’t appreciate me for who I was. She laughed at my dreams. But rather than give up on our relationship as adults, I gave it another chance.
Our relationship is still far from perfect, but it is a start. I will always love my Mum. Although she’s caused me a lot of pain, I know that holding onto anger does nothing to change it. Instead, I’ve welcomed her attempts at restoring our relationship. And I know that my ability to let go of the past has already given us a better future.
Throughout my life, others have caused me pain and I’ve caused people pain too. I’ve made mistakes that I know that I shouldn’t have. I’ve hurt people I wish I hadn’t.
But the wonderful thing about life is that we are in the position to change our futures.
We still have time to right those wrongs. To follow our dreams and pursue our passions. To show love to those around us. To change whichever direction we’re heading in.
Don’t forget what truly matters
As much as I love my job – my husband, my children, my family and my friends are much more important to me than my writing will ever be. That’s why I dedicate Sunday nights to time with my husband. That’s why I hardly write on weekends – because I want to spend time with my kids. That’s why I try my best to see my parents and in-laws regularly. That’s why, as busy as I am sometimes, I still message my friends to see how they’ve been.
I want to leave this Earth knowing that I’ve touched other people’s lives. That I’ve made people feel loved. That I’ve made the world a better place somehow.
If the passing of this friendly lady can teach us anything – it’s that it doesn’t take much to leave a lasting impact on someone else’s life.
The only conversation I ever had with this lady was about some rats she saw before school one morning. We had a nice giggle about it.
Yet, here I am, crying as I remember her still standing there at the school gate every afternoon. I’m crying because this lady – who put a smile on my face and made me laugh – is no longer here.
If this lady was able to brighten up my life in her own little way, then each of us can surely brighten up each other’s.
Thuy Le (formerly known as Thuy Yau) is a freelance writer and Youth Work graduate living in Perth, Australia. She loves to share her own personal experiences about overcoming adversity, as she believes that human beings are more capable than they realise. She writes to make a positive difference in the world and to inspire others to learn from themselves and their own experiences. Her writing has been discussed on radio, won writing contests, appeared on The Huffington Post UK and major Australian sites such as news.com.au, SMH, Kidspot and Essential Kids. She is currently writing her first book.