Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Appreciating Your Life

It came from nowhere and before the clock hit 10am, last Wednesday became one of those days I will never forget. A day that made me realise how beautiful yet fragile human life is and how strong the human spirit becomes in the midst of trauma.

By 10am I was hit with two different tragic stories that personally shook me to the core. The first phone call answered my questions to the ambulance sirens I heard earlier that day. Our beautiful exchange student who has been living with us for two months, was hit by a van while riding her bike and rushed to hospital fighting for her life. She had left earlier that morning for school waving goodbye with a big beaming smile on her face and twinkle in her eye but she didn’t know that in less than 20mins she would be lying unconscious in the middle of the road.

Half an hour after that call my second eldest sister who lives 700kms south rings me and with a short greeting continues to say “Melissa has just found out she has breast cancer”. Why did Melissa have to be the name of my eldest sister? I heard myself cry and at the same time repeated at least four times the words “are you joking?”

I spent the rest of Wednesday in shock visiting my exchange student in intensive care (after two hospital transfers) while also aching to get on an aeroplane so I could cuddle my sister Melissa. I was not only shattered for my dear sister and friend but also for the simple things in life that I take for granted in my own life.

Tests for both my sister and my exchange student seemed to run simultaneously on the Thursday. While I waited impatiently in the visitors room for the doctors to inform me of the severity of my students head injuries; I also waited for my mother to ring me filling me in on the severity of my sisters cancer.

My sister and my exchange student had never met but what they both share in is sheer determination, persistence, strength and a powerful spirit for life!

Against all odds my exchange student is recovering rapidly after being told how incredibly lucky she is to be alive. My sister’s bravery and positive attitude is now what brings a new tear to my eye.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank these two incredible women for inspiring me and reminding me of the blessings in life once again...
So I ask you - If you experienced a life threatening situation what would matter to you the most? What would you say to those around you? How would you feel about the life you have lived so far? Are you fulfilled? Are you living your life on purpose?
**My sister Melissa has recently launched her first photography exhibition "Adorned" in Newcastle Australia and is planning to take her work to New York next year. Her fine art is very feminine, beautiful and powerful! To view her work visit http://www.melissahiston.com/ and www.livingdoll.net.au It was an amazing experience being one of the feature models in this exhibition -see right;