Welcome to my blog!
Hello! My name is Paula and I love to write. I have an affinity for words and I want to tell tales about life and share experiences. I now have my very own canvas. I’m so excited! I have wanted to be an author since I was a child. I graduated from the Morris Journalism Academy in 2007. It’s funny how sometimes your passions are put on the back burner, while life goes on. You have probably heard the line “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans”, (is it from a song? Not sure). I am blessed with the gifts of time and space now, and here I am doing what I love.Check out some of my articles.. Happy reading!
My Time With Judy
Some of us spend our lives looking for a mentor, someone who can teach us the most valuable lessons for our lives and then something happens and we realize that the teacher had been there all along. Everyday we encounter people and they generally come into our lives for a reason whether we understand that at the time or not.
Her name is Judy and her intelligence and wisdom sparkled in her eyes. She was a mother to six and a grandmother to thirteen. She led a normal life with ups and downs with her husband of around 50 years. Together they raised the large family she was so very proud of. She worked outside the home during a time and I am sure with such a big brood to take care of, things would have been pretty tough, but that glorious spirit never ever stopped shining.
Our dear close relative was diagnosed with cancer earlier in the year and when we saw her last, two months ago, she looked different, she was bedridden but her spirit was so strong; it was soaring as she lay in her bed and was organizing everyone around her to take care of things, to tie her loose ends, because, you see, her faith was solid and she had come to what was possibly the most peaceful time of her life. You see, she was practicing acceptance. She had come to terms with the inevitable and accepted it; she vowed to leave it all up to God now as she found herself in a situation neither she, nor anyone else could control. She did not want to reach the end of her time on earth fighting outcomes; instead she made the wise choice to enjoy every precious second she could muster with her loved ones as she sat up in her bed as best she could beaming with pride and she observed her husband, their children and grandchildren.
We live a long away from her and I was taken aback when I visited her, not by her appearance – I was prepared for the changes- but her attitude, her acquiescence.
The phone rang early in the morning and we knew that the beautiful light had gone out for sure. I looked at my husband, his eyes were red and he looked tired and old; he was neither of those things a few months ago and I know he will come back to his young self again; right now he is exhausted by his feelings. He has lost his mum. We found out that she had passed and that peaceful energy is gone, the smile, the blue determined eyes are closed. She is no longer breathing. We were unable to be there with her when her light went out and what a bright light it was!
This is about a life, a rich and full life. A life lived with integrity, pride and above all love. There are a lot of people touched by this tragedy and a lot of individuals grieving and reacting to the injustice of this disease.
Why? Why her? Why now? These are the questions that always comes to mind at times like these. I have been told it’s God’s will and everything happens for a reason and there is a basis for all of this, we as mere mortals are not expected to know what that is. I admit that I find that a little hard to acknowledge at present and for that I apologise.
The end can come for any of us at any time. It does not discriminate age, sex or gender. So is there no way of knowing if or when it is going to be our turn.
Judy was not a perfect person, nobody is, but her positivity was an all calming influence to anyone who knew her. You could not help but relax around her.
It is now that she had gone that I have come to realize what a precious teacher she was and I have regrets. Life is busy and we did not spend a great deal of time talking. Whenever we came together, which unfortunately was not often enough due to the distance between us, we would connect so well. We were dissimilar people but she truly was like a dear mother to me. I never told her any of this, even after her grim diagnosis. My reasons were based on denial on my part. I could not practice what she did so well, acceptance. Intellectually I knew what was happening to her, but I was paralysed by another part of me who would not come to terms with the situation and had me convinced that we would spend this Christmas with her, because such an essence could not possibly die; but it did, or at least has moved on and I so desperately need to trust that one day we will convene again and I will again experience her all soothing influence.
My time with Judy, while she was sick, taught me one of the most valuable life lessons, the only time you will ever a have is now. That’s it. Tomorrow will not be here until then and yesterday is nothing but a memory and that is exactly how she spent her last few weeks, revelling in the attention, enjoying being looked after. “I feel like a queen, sitting here in my bed, watching T.V. all day and look,” she said as she picked up a silver bell from the bedside table, “all I need to do is ring this and someone will come running to see what it is that I am needing, how lucky am I?"
Lucky… Judy considered herself lucky. It is not to say that it is fortunate to be bedbound and sick but it is the way we perceive situations in our lives that determine our happiness. It is about choosing how we see circumstances. Judy could have spent her last days miserably feeling sorry for herself and despising her condition and this would have prevented her from the beautiful precious time she had with her loved ones, memories made from love for all of us to treasure.
She became excited at the prospect of reuniting in the after life with a grandchild who died several years ago and she genuinely could not wait for the encounter. Judy’s faith was a precious gift.
Judy was an amazing person who worked hard at preparing her loved ones for a life without her. She gave away jewellery and clothing to whomever she chose so she could see the look on their face as they received the gift; she did not want family members to deal with all that, because she knew how much she was loved and how difficult it would be for her kin to go through all her things while in the depth of grief.
We caught a plane two days after she passed and upon our arrival to her house on the day of the funeral I was handed a box containing a few pieces of jewellery Judy had chosen for my daughter and I. She had everything so amazingly well thought out.
What can I do? What can I say? What should I be doing? The rug has been pulled out from under me and I am at a loss as to how to handle it. How do we put one foot in front of the other now?
This was a warm, courageous, wise and spiritual woman who will of course be dearly missed and who has left a significant legacy. I sincerely hope that by my life’s end I can put into practice even a small portion of her warmth, positivity and acceptance.
Thank you Judy, you have changed who I am,you have made me better and I love you.