Having coffee with a friend this morning, we were gleefully discussing the venue of a new stylish hotel in Cape Town.  We were both absolutely blown away by the magnificence of the simplicity of the reception area.  A rich worn looking, tapestry like, Persian carpet, tasteful placing of art,  the rest uncluttered,  unencumbered by “stuff” to fill the space.

Unfortunately for most of us, it takes a scare before we realise the importance, the love of, the devastation at the potential loss of that human before we take stock.  I have had a few such wake up calls but the most heart wrenching has been my best friend and my daughters best friend.

Picture this, because there are many of us that do this.  I was flicking through Facebook posts one morning and noticed a beautiful picture of the Mom and daughter, as I was about to just click the “like” button,  words further down the page caught my eye, “please pray, Amy is fighting for her life.”  I went cold, heart racing, I made the call.  Indeed, what enfolded were days of uncertainty and fear for her family and for her.  Would she survive the series of mini strokes, would there be paralysis, would her brain be affected?

While out on a regular early morning run, this supremely fit child turned and felt a pain shoot down her neck.  As she ran, she mentioned it, she completed the run, she had breakfast, before she went home to shower and get ready for work.  Only then did the nightmare begin. Once showered, nausea engulfed her and she began vomiting, she then could no longer hold onto the bowl she was using or hold her body weight.  Total disorientation followed and the horrific drive to the hospital had her eyes rolling to the back of her head.  Just like that.  Little strokes were occurring and this feisty child/adult was suddenly at the mercy of the universe,  every second that was ticking was time not to be wasted.

As caught up as I was in the actual drama, my being was totally overcome for Wendy.  I imagined her little face, strained, and willing Amy on.  This is not supposed to happen to us or our children, is it?  It is always someone else, and we say, “I wonder how on earth they coped?”  I could hear the raw emotion in her voice as she bravely recounted the days progress or setbacks.  I sobbed at night after listening to her, willing her on.  I have never felt so distanced from anyone before and I am so ashamed that I let our friendship tick by on Facebook.  You see, this friend of mine, is one of the most selfless human beings I know.  She makes friends and she is yours for life, her family have learned that from her too.  Their lives are rich with love for each other and all those connected to them.

This tale has a very happy ending.  Amy, being Amy has fought tooth and nail.  The little body that couldn’t support itself is confidently getting her around.  Her old signature guffaw has returned. Her fine motor coordination is improving every day.  She religiously rolls out play dough, does beading, practises her writing, bounces balls, exercises, she is back to work a few hours a day.  She is fine and will end up stronger in every way as these sorts of shocks make you take note.

My lesson learned……  Look after your friendships, don’t leave them to social media. Do not fill them with external clutter.  To all of us who exercise perhaps a little too excessively, listen to your body, it whispers to you all the time.

“Destiny itself is like a wonderful wide tapestry in which every thread is guided by an unspeakable tender hand, placed beside another thread and held and carried by a hundred others.” (Rainer Maria Rilke)


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