I’ve recently found out that a friend of mine who has been battling with cancer is now, terminal.
She has but only days to live.
I found this out via Facebook after seeing a “go fund me” page which has been set up by someone to assist her family while her husband and young children spend the remainder of her days by her bedside.
The reason I found this out through social media is because, I am in fact, not a good friend at all.
If I was a good friend, I’d have made an effort to check in on her after the football season ended.
If I was a good friend, I’d have kept in contact when she moved house. I’d have offered to help with the move, to watch the kids while she rested and brought her flowers to brighten up her day.
If I was a good friend I’d have built our established “acquaintanceship” into a true friendship so that she had more support. I would have made her laugh with goofy jokes and held her hand when she was unwell during chemo. My children would have played with hers while we had a chat over a cup of tea and then, we’d laugh some more about the cake I’d most likely burned.
If I was any kind of friend, all of this may have played out. If I was her friend, I would have known she was dying.
But I didn’t.
I didn’t know, because I didn’t put in the effort I should have. I made promises I didn’t keep and ultimately, I got wrapped up in my own life.
I should have. I could have. I didn’t.
Now it’s too late.
This morning I woke up to a true friend of Kylie’s, who has set up this page to assist Kylie’s husband and her four young children through this distressing time. This lovely family have no income protection or insurance and no funds to cover bills and expenses which can only make Kylie’s last moments even more difficult.
After I shared the link to the go fund me page, it really got me thinking how very easy it is to attach a quick “sad face emoji” to a post or a story and then forget about it within 5 minutes.
I am guilty of doing this. We are all guilty of this. We don’t donate, heck, we don’t even share the post! In fact, after we throw it a “like” or acknowledgment (if even that!) we then continue to scroll right on past. That night, we will probably go online and buy an $80 dress, instead.
It’s not because we are horrible people, it’s because it’s not happening to us. We aren’t living that terror, nor do we want to feel that terror by putting ourselves in their shoes and trying to comprehend what they are going through.
We are afraid.
It’s not happening to us and so, we continue to live in our untouchable bubble of denial. The thing is, we are not untouchable by any means. Maybe it’s not our time yet, but it will be. Tomorrow, maybe. A few years. 50 years? And when our time is up, some people will care and others, well others will scroll right on past, unaffected by your life and untouched, by you.
Feeling helpless as well as awful about my ignorant behavior I went online to find a video about a young lady I’d watched a few weeks back.
You may have heard of the Australian woman, Holly Butcher? You’ve probably seen the emotional letter by her, made into a video which went viral on Facebook. She lost her battle to Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer at the age of 27.
Holly’s letter urges us to forget the trivial things like getting stuck in bad traffic, having a bad nights sleep because of your beautiful children keeping you up or chipping your new fake nails.
She said, “Let all that shit go. I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go. It is all so insignificant when you look at life as a whole.”
Holly’s words are a grave reminder that one day, we will all meet our fate. It’s inevitable. Her message is to live life to the fullest. Stop sweating the small stuff and be grateful for every new day.
Her words ring so true. I am so sick of taking life for granted and whining about petty things. I’m so tired of spending time with my face buried in my phone instead of living life with the people I love!
Most of all, I am so sick of being a shitty person.
When one of my closest friends had a miscarriage, I seemed to think it was fine to “text” them or worse still, to even just “think of them” (without even telling them!) How could I have been so horrible? When my family members have babies, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to keep saying, “oh, I want to meet him, I do! I’ll get there soon!” I sound like a damn broken record.
It’s really just not good enough.
Ugh. My excuses for my behavior are pathetic. YES I am busy. YES we all get busy, but it’s a lame excuse for putting people we care about on the back burner! We can make time! We can make an effort! We can live a happier and more rewarding life and we can do it with people we love.
I am done being a robot, marching to the same lifeless beat of the drum. I am done hearing news of people passing away without having had the chance to really know them. It makes me so sad.
I am done with complaining about the little things.
“Try replacing every “have to” you say with “I get to” and tell me that doesn’t alter your entire perspective of the privilege you have of life”
A friend of mine tagged me in this quote (above) the other day and it seems now, more apparent than ever.
What a difference perspective can make!
I am going to use this. I’m going to make it my mantra and practice it each and every day. Most days, I am a positive person, but by habit, I do fall into that pattern of whining about situations that really aren’t that stressful. In fact, after considering all of this, they really aren’t stressful at all.
Not even a little bit.
I am so fortunate. I may not be the most wealthy, the most successful or the most talented, but my god, I am lucky.
I am going to make more time for people I love and people who need to be loved.
I’m done with being a half-arsed person. Simply thinking about someone or something just isn’t good enough.
Our next sunrise is never guaranteed, just as the people in our lives can be snatched away at any given moment.
Life is the most precious gift. Hold it tightly and savor every droplet. There are people all across the globe who are taking their final breaths and wishing they could have just one more day.
Stop taking life for granted.
Stop taking people for granted.
When it’s time to go, I want to know I’ve lived. And when it’s time for the people I love to go, I want them to know that I love them.
Please support Kylie and her family, by following the link below. No donation is too small, even if it’s worth giving up just one coffee.
This is dedicated to Kylie, Luke, Mia, Aiden, Nate, and Cade. Sending all our love and strength x