“The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.”

I can’t wait for my December break. For me, it’s a time of family, food and friends.  Even though we do not celebrate Christmas, it is the only time of the year, where our family is together.

No one’s travelling, or due to work commitments can’t make it. Even though this December like the previous one, is without my mother, it’s strange and an evolving time for me.  

This is the time I miss my mother the most, because every December, I go home! With my mother no longer around, home is not home. I visit my siblings, and even though its “mi casa su casa”; it’s different.

My mother would have the table lined with all our favourites, from homemade achaar and hot roti’s, from kebabs in sauce to a plump roast chicken not to mention her bread pudding. There is always something special about being home and no matter what your age is, you are transported back in time to your childhood.

So, if you are privileged by still having your mother, please realise how blessed you are. They say (those unknown wise people) that if one loses a father, its traumatic, “your backbone” is gone, BUT when one loses a mother, it’s as if your oxygen supply has been cut off.

So if this December, you’re in the company of your parents or parent; take a moment to listen to their story because time is fleeting, you may not get this moment again and may lament at not listening or sharing this time with them.  

Give your parents all the love you can, a hug, hold their hand and tell them how much you appreciate them and all that they have done for you. And if you able-minded and able-bodied with functioning lungs, a heartbeat and a pulse, be grateful for life and the ability to keep moving along on the interesting journey known as life – especially if you’re lucky to be amongst  people who love  you.

Cast a thought for those who live in fear of bombardment or death; living in areas of war and oppression; who are hungry on the streets, rummaging through bins for scraps of food; who are going through horrible hardships just trying to survive one day to another.

I know I take many things for granted, things I take as a right but is actually a privilege. I try every day to give thanks and appreciate all around me. When one reads about literacy in the world, I realized that being literate is a not a right, but a gift. I realized there is a lot of war and violence in the world, and I’m lucky to live in a country like South Africa, yes we have our own challenges, but there are no sirens going off as I drive home, warning me of a missile. I realized there are people out there who don’t have their five senses, and to have mine is a gift. I realized the world is so beautiful, and we’re lucky to live in such an amazing world.

It’s so easy to be pessimistic when things are not going right, remember no matter how bad your situation may seem, there are tens of thousands who would give anything to have your life, and would be grateful.

So maybe the loss of my mother was the most excruciating pain I felt and still feel, I have been serendipitously touched by living my life as if it’s my last day every day. We go through life on autopilot, the motions of work … home …. Work, and passing from one week to another like the one before.

Every day matters. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.  Make sure it’s worthwhile.

Sometimes you need to take a few steps back to see things clearly.  Never let your life become so filled with work, your mind become so crammed with worry, or your heart become so jammed with old hurts or anger, that there’s no room left in them for fun, for awe, or for joy.

I am touching the world with my presence; I am still here, so it means my purpose has not been completed. I am alive; I have been given the chance to touch others’ lives, family, friends, colleagues, and my amazing son. My arrangement of atoms is still needed. I am travelling through time from one day to another, one year to another … I realise the importance of making it count.

So my rant is probably things you have heard before but I will say it anyway.

Live like you are dying ….

Conquer your fears ….

Love deeply ….

Even though most times we all get dragged into this repetitive state, it’s an illusion, you won’t always be in this state, you are a tourist in this world, take in all the sights and sounds, and enjoy every bit, be it the good or the bad.

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