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a powerful reminder

June 8, 2011

Having signed up for the #trust30 writing challenge, there has been a couple of prompts so far asking you to consider your mortality in the next 15 minutes and in the next week.

What if you had sixteen years to live?

That’s the question I was faced with yesterday as I witnessed the death of a sixteen year old boy. The only thing separating us between life and death was a flimsy, makeshift wall.

Hospitals in Greece are a forgotten, underfunded, out of date, crumbling mess staffed with hardworking doctor’s and nurse’s who are lucky to make 1000 euros at the end of the month – and that’s if they get paid at all.

A far cry from the modern, money infused hospitals I am familiar with where I grew up in Canada.

As I sat in what was meant to be a waiting room, examining room and emergency room surrounded by utter chaos I could not bear to look around at my surroundings and the people around me. The events unfolding before my eyes had me stuck to my seat, paralyzed, unable to move.

The sound of a team of nurses and the one doctor on duty frantically running about to save a young man’s life echoed through the room mixed with the sound of family members and friends in shock and despair.

Had it not been for the excruciating pain I was experiencing, the reason my doctor had ordered me to be here at this time, I surely would have ran off.

But I did not.

Then the moment came, a moment no parent should ever have to live through, the moment when a doctor tells you your child is dead which is immediately confirmed by the absolute breakdown of the parents and friends around.

I stood up and pushed my way through crowds of people, most of them confused, like me, waiting to see the only doctor on duty, unbeknownst to them that they were about to witness a tragedy.

I ran down a random hallway and I ironically found myself in a dark and deserted Microbiology department where I cried for the next hour.

Some messages are subtle and others come loud and clear in our lives. How we choose to interpret them if we do at all is up to us. I personally don’t believe in coincidences, choosing instead to always see the messages the universe is sending me through the good and the bad.

Maybe I was meant to be a witness to vanquish any doubts that are still looming about renting out my juice bar in Greece and once again embarking on a completely new journey.

Maybe it was to remind me of my own mortality and of those whom I cherish in my life.

Maybe it was meant to be a confirmation that I am making the right choices by not waiting and seeing but instead  doing what feels right inside for me.

For those of you still consumed with fear or fairytale ideas of unlimited time this is a powerful reminder that the right time is always NOW.

Don’t ever fool yourself into believing you have time later to do what you want.

Tell those whom you love what they mean to you, daily.

Dare to live your dreams.

Don’t accept anything but the best from yourself in thoughts and actions.

Finally, remember that we are all human beings and are connected by some invisible force – So say a prayer for this boy and his grieving family and friends.


6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 9, 2011 17:48

    wow, jessica. this is amazing. i literally have chills…needed to hear this. also, LOVE the photographs. thank you.

  2. June 12, 2011 17:18

    This post is powerful. I have no doubt that you must embrace life because you just don’t know what “later” is going to bring. Our prayers go out for this boy’s family who was taken way too early.

    • June 12, 2011 20:48

      Hi Pete,
      It seems to me you guy’s are already embracing life and making sure you have no regrets. Good for you!
      It’s easy to forget such reminders in our crazy daily existence but being aware of own mortality and of those we love certainly helps one live more authentically.
      Thanks for stopping by.


  3. Richard Osborne permalink
    June 24, 2011 10:49

    Hi Jess
    All I can say is that I have tears in my eyes, I hope you are feeling better very soon.

  4. Warwick permalink
    July 9, 2011 16:41

    A great effort in the transformation of such a tragic event into something positive….a great post, a great alarm clock that can only help to wake us up and not take anything for granted. And at such a terrible price of suffering for all those involved.

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