I heard something yesterday, spoken at the funeral of a beautiful young woman who was a special part of our early years growing up in Gympie.
Don’t count the years in your life, count the life in your years.
I’m sure we’ve all heard it before, possibly read it in some meme too, but yesterday it really resonated.
I had just finished chatting to a bloke who approached me at the local shopping centre . I feel I can repeat his story as he seemed to not mind sharing it openly with me.
He was not an old man (maybe 50) but had lived through a really difficult six years. He walked with a cane and approached me to offer support with my leg.
He went on to tell me how he had died at the scene of a horrific accident six years earlier. His ute was hit head on by a semi trailer, one leg and an arm were obliterated and his entire mid-section split open as his steering wheel embedded into his chest. A square hole in his leg a constant reminder of his ute’s ashtray embedded into his thigh. This man was saved by some incredible paramedics and has had a very long road to recovery. In the middle of the shopping centre he lifted his shirt and hitched up his pants to show me his scars and explain the many many procedures he’d had.. it seemed important to him to share with me.
Why? Because not only had he survived, he chose to live.
I get these stories everyday that I go out. Incredible, life altering moments of strangers who are compelled to share their story with me. It is like the Ilizarov frame drops guards. People who have faced some really terrible times and yet they are strong. Told they would never again….. but they did.
Anyone with me can find this exhausting because it happens constantly and certainly slows down a trip to the shops. How do I feel about it? I love it.
I love that people want to tell their story. The purpose is always because they want to say ‘do not give up, it can feel like forever right now but you will get there’. They associate with the physical and emotional anguish.
By no means can I compare my battles to that of anyone who has fought cancer or survived life threatening injuries as a result of a horrific accident.
However quite often it is the wake up call that I need. As the message is always the same. Don’t give up. Choose to live. Take that risk, introduce yourself to strangers, have that extra glass of wine (or not), stay up too late, wake early to watch the sun rise. Live.
I am not sure if the events of yesterday were meant to spur me on the way that they did but I decided my version of ‘live’ was.. that I needed to drive.
So I did. Albeit in the safety of our own dirt driveway.
It was another sign of improvement. Four weeks ago I could not have even got myself comfortably into the drivers seat. I am feeling good, I am feeling strong.
Just the one issue… I think I’ve started something.