Some events quite simply serve to put one’s life, with all its privileges and setbacks, into a more realistic perspective. Some people, though still young, brighten the lives of all those they encounter; without these people the world will be much poorer but, at the same time we can count it a real blessing that our paths have crossed.
Today, my younger step-daughter, Cathy received the news from a friend (one who has been a friend, confidant, travelling companion right through from childhood) that the friend has been given 9 – 12 months to live. The friend, Kate, a remarkable and radiant young lady, is 28 years of age and, 21 weeks pregnant; it seems as if the pregnancy, and its accompanying hormonal imbalance, may have hastened the growth of a brainstem glioma.
It’s only a couple of years ago, after much humming and hawing by the medical profession, that a tumour was removed. In spite of the loss of peripheral vision, epileptic seizures, chronic migraines, Kate always has a ready warm smile for all whom she meets. Having been given the “all clear”, she was assured that the best course of action was to get on with life as normal and, yes, it would be alright to start a family. (The latter advice, in retrospect, seems to have been more than a little suspect).
Last year Cathy had the privilege of attending Kate’s wedding, when Kate married Luke, a young man from Essex she had met during her travels in Australia with Cathy. Cathy has always been determined that Kate would be her bridesmaid when she marries!
The news has been devastating to all of us and, as Cathy says, it’s impossible to imagine a world without Kate. Certainly the world will be much the poorer when the inevitable happens.
The only time we have is now, and whilst our thoughts and prayers go out to and for Kate, her family and all her friends, we must always remember the privilege of sharing / having shared the same planet!