“We are reminded that life is fragile today.” A couple of days ago, the news some of us were already sadly waiting for came. And though they were expected, it didn’t hurt any less. It’s so easy to forget that the ones we love most, the ones we take for granted, will not be here forever. Today, I want to be reminded that life is fragile. That every day is a fight and an adventure.
The woman who passed away was incredible. She was an amazing friend to my mother, and an amazing mother to my friend. She was a woman who stood by her beliefs and opened her heart to the world; someone who never gave up. Someone who saw the best in everyone and gave people second chances and someone who believed that things happen for a reason. I saw no reason for her illness or for her and her family, of all people, to have to go through something like this; all I know is that the bonds that were created between all of them, father and mother, the children that were almost like brothers and sister to me, between cousins, aunts, and relatives, became even stronger in the two years she incessantly battled against cancer.
I know she didn’t lose. I know she didn’t, because I have hours of joyous memories of her and her family – we all do. Summers where night faded to day and day to night, where there were no schedules, no locked doors; going shopping for a family of six, hearing the boys play music in the living room, going to the village market on weekends. All the different shades of blue she wore, her contagious excitement about everything. Eating ice-cream after dinner, cooking for twenty people because it was always likely that an extra couple of people would show up, because that was just how it was. That house was a home to many. I remember looking through their music, listening to Van Morrison, cuddling with the cats on the green sofa that had witnessed 1000 and a half mischievous kids and their games and their tricks. I remember having to wrestle for the shower every evening and thinking these were the happiest summers I would ever experience.
It has been years now since I saw everyone. The ones who were my summer family, who gave me a tiny kitten after my cat Luna died, a little ball of fur who would lay on my thighs and purr and fall asleep, the kitty that one summer got stung by a bee and ran around the garden with her paw the size of a lemon for a day or two. It saddens me to know that I’ve fallen into that trap like many others, saying, “I will call them tomorrow” or “I will write them next week” – forgetting that life is fragile today of all days, that every minute passed is a minute lost, that rushing and scheduling might allow you to be faster and ahead, but it will make you miss out on everything. This is how I know that she didn’t lose, but won: she was fierce and seized every moment there was to seize.