Tuesday, April 29, 2008

One More Moment

This weekend, we lost another friend from our Breast Cancer Foundation Dragon Boat team. Cancer didn't get her though; she was hit by a taxi. The local paper alluded to the cruel irony that she'd survived cancer, only to be killed in a road accident.

The front-page story the previous day was about an eight-year-old boy who was killed when his school minibus was hit by a car.

I've been thinking about my teammate - a smiling, strong woman who brought happiness to so many people. I've been thinking about the little boy and especially his mother, whom I don't know at all.

I haven't felt angry or frustrated about having cancer, but I'm feeling pretty upset that my teammate and even this little boy I don't even know are gone forever, and in such sudden, violent ways.

My teammate's 32-year-old son was quoted in the newspaper article saying that he wished his mother were still alive so he could make her even prouder of him. That really got to me. And I think of that little boy's mother and what I'd give, if I were her, to have my son back for even one second.

This feeling that if you could have just ONE MORE MOMENT with the person you love - for one last hug, one last kiss, one last touch, but that you'll never, ever get to have that. Ever. This must be the ultimate agony of anyone who's lost a loved one.

Many of us have friends or family we don't see for months or years at a time, but we know they're out there somewhere and we satisfy ourselves with simply knowing that they're healthy, happy, and existing. But take away the possibility of ever seeing that person again and suddenly, the finality of it can be crushing.

Of course, we can't go through life treating people the way we would if we thought we might never see them again. That's just not possible or practical. If we lived like that, we'd never let our kids out of the house because we'd be giving them their "one last hug" all day long. And I confess, I've made my kids late for school while over-kissing and over-hugging them many times.

I guess the best we can do is try to appreciate as many ONE MORE MOMENTs in our days as we can. Maybe that starts with simply recognizing these moments when we see them.


leighbee said...

Oh how well I know this sentiment.............. "just one more moment........." If I had a dollar for every time I've said/thought this over the last 5 years I guess I'd be a very rich lady..... My advice to you ALL is to CHERISH EVERY MOMENT....live evry day as if its your last whoever you are because one things for sure......one day it will be. x

Meg Wolff said...

This is a nice post. Thank you for the reminder least I forget. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Shin

I read your Blog every couple of days just to see how you are getting on and this post really touched me. As you know I lost my daughter to cancer 10 years ago when she was just three and a half, and every day I wish I could just have one more second with her. Even though we had 16 months to say goodbye, no amount of time would be enough. But I think I would rather be in my situation than losing someone close to such a sudden and violent end and never having the chance to say good bye or the feeling of one last hug. We should all never take our family and friends for granted. Give as much love as you can as often as you can.


Jazzy's Dad


Anonymous said...

When I do not see any new postings on your blog, I have the fear that what I have read maybe the last.

I hope that the day when I am wishing for just one more posting from you never comes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shin,

Thanks for such a moving post. We all need to remember that we're lucky to have our health and the health of our loved ones. It's not going to last forever.

I read about your friend in the Straits Times at the weekend. I'm really sorry, I wondered as I read about it, was she your friend??(they mentioned the dragon boat team and that she was a breast cancer survivor and so I wondered if you knew her). Such a tragic loss. I'm so sorry.

Also, I must say, I thought the reporting style/content in the paper was really insensitive and intrusive. Is this the usual Straits Times style? Awful I thought.

Thanks again for the kick up the bum that we all need,

lisamac said...

Shin, Hi,
This whole blogging thing is so new to me - this is only my second time - so please forgive me if I am clumsy or awkward! I am Alice's mummy, and I have to say that on school sports day I have 2 most memorable moments - one was my daughter coming first in her race and the second was giving you a hug to say hello! You are such an incredible person Shin, and I admire your strength and will power! You really are a role model for all of us. I lost my mum 4 years ago really unexpectedly - she literally just coughed in her sleep and died! There's really been no explanation for it! And I was 6000 miles away! There really are some disadvantages to being an expat! Shin, I cannot thank you enough for the courage you give me!

Kate said...

Hi Shin
We are in India, Rosie has said 3 times, 'Mummy, lets think about Shin' We are thinking about you and your family.
Take care
Kate, Rosie, Izzy (Stew & Charlie) x

Yvonne said...

Shin, recently I am like see-saw, maybe too many things happening and am feeling burn out, totally burn out. But thanks for all your sharings, that always reminded myself that it is part of life, and made it the best I can. If we made it our best, living once is enough. Thinking and praying for you everyday. Love.