A Musing on the Meaning of Life

We almost lost my niece, Isabel, a week or so ago.  She was very ill with what everyone thought was a tummy bug, but Millie was worried and took her to hospital after two days of throwing up and tummy pains.  By the time the specialist decided to operate and got in there, her appendix had burst and it was all apparently a horrible mess.  After the op she just kept on throwing up and she seemed to be fading.  Ged and I got our hands to work sending Reiki and we both got that she was going to die.  I can’t begin to express how precious Issy is in the family – the only grandchild for my parents before Ben came along  but she has held the honoured, and probably onerous, position of only grandchild for over 10 years now.  Of course she is spoilt, and like all kids she can be a proper little madam, but for Millie and Phil she was the first and as it turned out, the one and only, of the family they had dreamed of (and there’s a helluva lot of heartbreak there), for my Mother she has been the longed for grandchild and I am sure a chance to be a better grandmother than she was mother, and for Melissa the closest it seems she will ever get to having a child, and for me, the hope of a happy child in our family.

Anyway, she almost left us and I could see, in my mind’s eye, the horror and the shattering grief and the hole in all our lives which would be left if she departed and I remember being frantic that she must stay and saying over and over again ‘You’re not going to die, Issy, you’re going to be fine’ but with this cold hand of dread clutching at my heart.

She was, is, fine.  she turned the corner and now she is home and well.  But we are changed.  All of a sudden death came knocking at the door of our lives and a shiver ran through our family.

We all take everyone and everything around us for granted yet nothing is guaranteed.  We moan about the facets of our lives which are too much like hard work but we don’t excise them.  We think life is meant to be hard or a struggle or about acquisition but it’s NOT.  It’s about the heart, about love, about joy, about sharing.  About the miracles that abound every day that we are too busy to see . . .and yet, even having had this revelation, I have slipped back into my own man-made monotony and material world.  WHY?  Why are we so shallow, so caught up in our own emotional ebbs and flows and not centred on joy and happiness and concentrating on that, allowing that in.

I feel like I don’t KNOW how to be happy, that I am always looking for what is WRONG, not what is RIGHT, and GOOD and LOVING.  That’s my family background of constant criticism and nit-picking STILL running the program of my life.  How do I let it go.  Just let it go . . . just hand it over to God and he/she tosses them into the brazier behind and they are gone . . . ashes to ashes, dust to dust, embers sparking against the celestial sky.  Phew, I feel lighter already . . . now can I embrace my life, open my heart to those who love me and be free, happy, joyful . . . we shall see . . .

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