Well… since I am not a cow, I guess what I mean to say is that I am “pondering” about many things…
It all started during one of those ESL classes which I have the pleasure to give. The book for this particular class requires some serious work on “perfect tenses”. You know… the pesky could’ve… would’ve… should’ve… and all those assorted verbs with “have” as the assistant. But as we delved into the topic, there were some questions within the lesson which actually sparked some interesting and, at times, insightful conversation… all in English, of course…
One in particular dealt with a person’s self perceived weaknesses and strengths. Another with dreams not accomplished yet and a third simply asked… “Have you had a difficult moment which has helped you learn something important?” As you can imagine, the people who come to these evening classes (mostly adults with some baggage in their trunks, so to speak – including their teacher) don’t really expect to walk into a semi-confessional moment but being a small and well knit group, they all responded truthfully.
There were stories about childhoods lost or fondly remembered; about the difficulty in adapting to a new culture, about challenges met … some with success and others with failure… friends made and friends lost… Dreams of starting or increasing an owned business… of traveling to exotic and not so exotic locales… Actually, the two evenings turned out to be quite interesting
Perhaps the most telling answers were to the last question about that difficult moment in life which sparked a positive learning experience. I am not about to put on paper what these trusting folks said and shared with us, in closed quarters. But being the "nice" person I am, what came to my own mind and which was shared (only fair, right? ... they did ask me) with the class, will be also shared with you.
Actually the words came almost without much thought to my mind and, with perhaps too short a time, flowed through to my mouth and out they went…
-“Having Cancer was a blessing” I said… at which point they all looked at me with a questioning, almost a “ha ha… here comes another typical comment…” look. But no, I held their gaze and said -“yes, it was” and added -“obviously, surviving was the biggest blessing, but having gone through the process was also a blessing of a different kind”…
Well… it is true, all of it. Even if to my own mind I didn't go through the pain and suffering many who have had this illness have experienced, it was an eye opener. The people I met; those who showed courage in the face of probable death and those whose reaction was to sink into a mental funk. To many this last response could be understandable, to me… never.
I learned that the mind is a wonderful instrument, it can be our biggest ally and it can also be our bitterest enemy. In my case, a new zest for life was found, a new way to look at everyone around me; the fact that every moment has to be enjoyed, lived and the realization that, regardless of the road we may find ourselves on at any given time, ‘tis the road life has put us on and it has to be traveled. Might as well enjoy it!!
This last was brought home with the untimely death of my son; we never do know when we will be taken away from this life and it is a shame we leave so many possibilities and probabilities untried and stones unturned… all because we may be going through an unhappy, selfish moment or because we think that we deserve better. Maybe we do… then again, maybe we don’t.
So yes, this was a blessed event. My eyes were reopened to the wonders of my life, to all the good had and yet to be had, to all the learning moments and the people who helped me learn. Also, to those who have gone but whose wonderful, warm and loving memories will stay with me as long as I breathe.
In fact, every moment we live it is a wonderful learning and enjoyment opportunity… don’t miss it!!
Be Well … Be Back!!!
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