Life is a Holiday

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Tuesday 17 July 2012: 5 years 10 months on … Advantage ED

Before we left on our holiday to Thailand, we did a lot of research, homework and preparation. We read books, searched the internet and chatted to people who had been there before.

We packed appropriately, got our documentation in order and ensured that we had the correct currency.

In short, we ensured that we were well-prepared for the trip.

Then, off we went.

We knew we had limited time and that the trip would end. So we ensured that we used every available moment at our disposal. Time spent sleeping or in hotel rooms was wasted, so we did as much as we possibly could in the days available to us.

Time not utilised was lost to us – we would not pass that way again and would not be able to recoup the moments lost.

We had to live in each and every moment, enjoy the moment, savour the moment, relish the moment, delight in the moment, take pleasure in the moment, appreciate the moment and value the moment.

Sometimes, one is so busy taking photographs in order to save the moment for future memories that you are unable to take the pleasure in the fullness of that very moment.

There would be no time for regrets, no going back and no doing it over again.

And even when we realised that our time was running out fast, that we only had so “many sleeps” left and that the end was certain, it didn’t help to lament about it – we just had to keep on going and do as much as possible.

Along the way, we appreciated everything we saw. We marvelled at the world around us. Despite the weather sometimes being good and sometimes bad, we had to make do with what came our way. Despite the heat, the humidity and conditions far from ideal, we persevered. Despite heavy monsoon rains, we made alternative plans to lying on the beach – we hired scooters and bought rain ponchos and continued to explore the island of Phuket and enjoy ourselves.

It didn’t help blaming the fact that we hadn’t always made sufficient preparations to cover all eventualities. We had to make decisions on the fly.

And, yes, before we knew it, it was over – as we say here in South Africa: finished and klaar!

The question is how did the experience change us and what will we remember; and what did we do to make a difference to the lives of those we met along the way? Will they and how will they remember us?

Such is life!

In our formative years, we prepare with the help of others, at home and at school, for the journey that lies ahead of us. It is essential that we are well-prepared.

We know that our time is limited on this earth so we should not procrastinate, not delay, but make the most of every moment of our life. We should not waste – not even a single moment.

Time not utilised is lost to us – we will not pass this way again and we will not be able to recoup a single moment lost.

We have to live in each and every moment, enjoy the moment, savour the moment, relish the moment, delight in the moment, take pleasure in the moment, appreciate the moment and value the moment.

Somehow, it is so difficult to do that. We are often so busy blaming our past and preparing for our future that we lose our present, and that particular moment that we are living in.

But there is no time for regrets, no going back and no doing it over again. An unutilised moment passed is a moment lost!

And when our time runs out, when we only have so “many sleeps” left and the end becomes certain, it won’t help to lament about our life – we just have to keep on going and do as much as is possible in the time we have left.

Along the way, we must appreciate everything we see. We can only marvel at the world around us.

Despite the odds, we have to make do with what comes our way. When we have excellent conditions, we must make the most of them. Despite adverse conditions, we must persevere and make alternative plans and continue to enjoy ourselves.

And before we know it, when it is all finished and klaar, the question will be: “How did the experience of life change us and what will we take with us. What did we do to make a difference to the lives of those we met along the way? Will they remember us and how will they remember us?

After all, life should be a holiday!

 

 

 

 

Every Dark Cloud has a Silver Lining

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Monday 11 June 2012: 5 years 9 months on … Advantage CBD

Last year this time, in my blog “Who Painted the Moon Black”, I wrote:

And to ourselves, we need to remember that the moon did not stay black forever. After the darkness, it turned to the most beautiful red and then slowly returned to its normal bright shining self (and maybe even looked just a tad brighter after the darkness than before!)

We, too, must now look forward to the next exciting era in our lives that begins today.”

The last twelve months have been a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs, and always seen against the background of a disease that continually takes more and more of my self – physically and mentally.

Yes, a lot has happened in the last twelve months – most of which is documented in my previous blogs.

A lot has happened in the last few weeks.

A lot has happened in the last week!

No, I did not make the Wine Festival on the weekend; but, thanks to Good Fellas, I did make Dean’s 40th birthday spitbraai on Saturday night (despite the pouring rain and howling wind!) Ironically, it was exactly one year to the weekend that we received all the rain last year that broke the drought!

Yes, after AlgoaFM and Bluewaters café, I also made the hairdresser, the oral hygienist and a meeting at Old Grey on Wednesday; my hydrotherapy, my admin with Nadine and my massage with Julian on Thursday; lunch at The Brewery under the Bridge with Charles and Sean and Helen Harris’s overnight visit on Friday; and the rugby test and Dean’s party on Saturday!

Sunday was, as the Good Lord intended, a rest day, and it was good!

 And, today, I cancelled the swimming but had the gardener, the lawn mowing crew, lunch with Sean and Sevé, a visit from Isaac and some more rest! My walking is becoming increasingly affected and the brace and walking stick almost my constant companions – one or the other!

In between all this, I have been putting the finishing touches to the plans for our trip to Johannesburg and Pretoria during the upcoming school holidays.

The opening lines of my website read as follows:

I am Ed Lunnon, and Ed Lunnon is a happy traveller. On Thursday 8 February 2007 I was in Cape Town, South Africa, but this time on a very different journey. At 9h00 I walked into the neurologist’s office and when I walked out, it was the beginning of a trip unlike any other I had previously undertaken.”

So, our trip to Gauteng, is a trip within that trip.

As the shadows grow longer and longer in my life, this Gauteng trip was originally planned for the family and me to spend quality time together and to meet up with friends in that part of the country. Over the years, we have spent many happy times at various places around the world and with many friends with whom we have been privileged to share our journey.

 The time has come, whilst I still can, to personally say thank you and au revoir to as many of my travelling companions as possible.

The last ten years of our family life have been difficult ones for us all. Each one of us has, in very different ways, had to contend with the challenges that life has thrown at us. We have not always been able to do the things that “normal” families are able to do.

Hence, the reason for the Gauteng trip. But then it all changed.

Thanks to that silver lining – one that wishes to remain anonymous – an opportunity arose for the Gauteng trip to be extended just a little bit further! It took a while to sink in and even longer to actually decide to “just do it”!

Was it the right thing to do? Are there not other priorities? Will my health stand up to it? Even after making the final decision to go and knowing that it may not happen, I have insisted that no-one would talk about it, and that it was still the Gauteng trip!

However, my family (and me, I guess!) have found it very difficult to keep this secret. Whenever they get asked what they are doing in the holidays, the give me a curt glance and promptly answer “we’re going to Johannesburg!” Later, I get asked “Dad, when can we say something? This is just too difficult and it’s not true!”

Lest, I therefore be held responsible for them telling untruths, we agreed tonight to lift the dark cloud.

From my website:

“These activities, and the public support in reaction to them, have sustained and encouraged me along the difficult steps of that journey and the act of saying farewell to a beloved world in and through which I have so enjoyed travelling.

Hopefully, the time you spend travelling through this website and blog site accompanying me on my final journey, will encourage you to live Life each and every day, and to remind you to embrace the delicate, transient moments of your lives.

After all, our lives and the precious moments we share with the people we love are gone so soon.

But we never need lose the time we spend enjoying them. It is the memory of those times that can assist us to conquer our fears of our final earthly trip – of facing death and leaving behind those whom we have loved and with whom we have shared that time.

“And if we can conquer our fears, we can conquer anything.”

In exactly two week’s time we will be heading eastwards to the lands from where the Star and the Wise men came. We will be  landing at Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport in Thailand en route to Phuket International Airport.

We are so very grateful and thankful for this wonderful silver cloud and the opportunity that has been afforded us to travel yet one more time as a family in this magnificent world of ours.