Friday, 30 November 2012

A Moment of Reflection

I have so much to share with you all about Tunisia, NaNoWriMo, writing, and life in general, but I'd like to take a moment of reflection, if I may. And I may, because it's my blog!

Yesterday, I found out that a dear friend's mother had passed away a few months ago.  This friend was one of my best friends at my second high school in Hawkesbury.  We're still in touch now and then, but life's ebbs and flows don't always bring us together.  Which is fine - we always pick up where we left off.

When I learned of her mother's passing, life paused.  Which was a bit awkward since I wasn't in a good pausable area, but there you go, it happens.

I lived in Hawkesbury for two years only, but those years were amongst the darkest and brightest in my life and really defined who I chose to become.  I finished high school there.  I skipped grade 12 by convincing them I didn't need grade 11 math to take the next level, simply because I wanted to leave earlier. My brother and best friend had stayed behind in Cornwall, the house situation was less than ideal, and I'd say it's really the only time I was constantly, exhaustingly angry at the world.

During that time, I hung out with a few people who left indelible marks on my psyche.  And their families did as well, by extension.

This mother helped me get through the darkness and she never even knew it.  She welcomed me into her house without question, made me one of her own.  She even helped to sew my first medieval costume, out of curtains - their own curtains!  I was so touched that I still have a piece of that costume.  My fine medieval drapes.

As I stood there on pause, all of these little moments in time crystalized as I recalled minute things that she said or did, and how they made a difference.  I didn't see it then, couldn't see the small pushes up for air as I desperately tread water and tried not to drown, but now I see how much she pushed, how her whole family pushed me up, without knowing or asking for anything in return.

It made me think of all of the people we lose in our direct lives.  Of the impact we can never really know they had on others. And of our own impact we have on others, as well, without ever seeing the thread that we weave through lives, holding people together or undoing them, one small word or gesture at a time.

If there is an afterlife, or a final goodbye to the world before our consciousness goes off to dance amongst the stars, I like to believe that we're allowed to see that thread, for one precious moment, and to realize that our lives, all of our lives, make the tapestry not just of our own story, but of history, of the world, and of humanity.

And I really believe, from having known my friend's mother, from knowing so many of you, from having received so much warmth from so many people, that this tapestry is bright, beautiful, and breathtaking.

Thanks to all of you for everything. You'll probably never know how much you affected those around you, and they might never, either, but you are, and you will.  Keep that secret nuzzled in the inside pocket of your coat and peer at it once in a while to remember. Always remember.

Let's all make this tapestry a little brighter today, in honour of this unassuming woman, of all of the unassuming people who just try to do the best they can, day after day, and who make all the difference.