I’ve been in a self-pity phase lately. Stopped doing the positive self-talk. Became listless and consumed in physical pain. It is not like me. The one thing my mum has always said since I got sick is: ‘Juliet always smiles, even on the worst days she smiles.’ I proved her wrong in the last few weeks.
As always, I am blessed with voices that remind me how it should be. Someone I am growing to respect more and more sent me a short message. It simply read: Ecclesiastes 7:10. If you’ve checked your bible, then you know that bible verse says:
Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.
I sat in the dark of my room for a few minutes, trying to figure out if I should feel offended or whether I should heed the advice. I was thinking about rattling off a message about how good the old times were, just to make sure he understood that they were. But then about 7 and a half minutes after the first message, another message came through:
Check your email.
So I did. And this is what I found. I have copied it, with his permission and with just a few edits to remove personal information.
You don't have to tell me how the old days were, I was there with you. When you could twist a somersault against a tree branch and jump down without feeling pain. When you could dive off a cliff into water and not get the muscle cramps that have you deathly afraid of water now. I was there, so I know that you have more now than you had then. More good things than you had then. Sure, your friends leave you behind when they go off to parties,or up Ngong Hills for that hike you so wanted to go on. But you have friends, true friends, maybe just two or three, but they are real. Back then, you were too young to tell who was your true friend, likely you only had just one true friend. The others used you, maybe even abused you, and when they were done they would leave you on the side of the road hurt, confused and alone. But you are older now. True, false friends will always show up, but you are smart enough to know to be on the lookout, and you are smart enough to cherish the true friends you have. Sure you can't make a step without wincing in pain. You can't go on your three mile daily jog, or eat just whatever you like without worrying it might kill you. But you are still alive.You could be dead, like any number of our old acquintances who have since died, some in circumstances of their own making. Being alive is not a curse, not as long as you can talk - make someone know that their life is of worth, write - tell stories of inspiration and hope, listen to music, or read with a child, or enjoy that book I brought you. What did you say that first time you read the first few pages: There is nothing like a good book on a cold weekend. Now, my dear, those are words you must never forget. Because life is like a book. How good it is depends on how well you live it, even during the chilling spells. You have many things,apart from the ones I've listed above, my dear. Just in case you have forgotten, allow me to remind you. -A mother who thinks you are brilliant and is proud of you. -A dad who in the most unconventional of relationships reminds you to be the best. -A mind that cooks up hilarious of mischiefs that light up the world [my world at the very least]. -A heart that remains strong in spite of the worst of storms. -Friends who find new ways to entertain and keep you company every day. -Cats who think you are the queen of their universe [I still think they are up to something] I could go on... it would take me a while to list them all. There is one more thing that you have now, that you did not have then, not quite. [For a number of reasons, the first being that you were too young for me :)] You have my respect, and admiration. You have my honest devotion. So get up, light a fire, take the duvet, curl up in front of the TV and watch a good movie. Read a new book. Let yourself smile. But don't, for everything that is worth its gold on earth, don't let yourself convince you that the chill is the worst thing that could happen to you. The worst thing that could happen is for you to not know that you are loved.
What could I say to that? I did exactly as I was told. Even found myself grateful that I was not afflicted with Mr. Monk’s many maladies – I found it hilarious when he reverted to his 10 year old persona. And then I reminded myself why the Adventures of Huckleberry Fin and the Adventures of Tom Sawyer kept me so entertained as a child.
The worst thing that could happen is for you to not know that you are loved.