This Too Shall Pass


As a child I quickly learned to be thankful, grateful and appreciative of what I have.

Throughout the trials and tribulations of this journey known simply as ‘life’, it is so devastatingly easy to become jaded, ungrateful and unappreciative because the sheer magnitude of rain that seems to fall when the skies open their crying eyes is enough to make us feel as though the sun will never smile again. Seldom will you have every single thing you want and it is unlikely you will ever have everything you think you need but even when you find yourself trapped in a dark room surrounded by seven devils, each one slowly draining the blood from your veins and the breath from your lungs, nine times out of ten your perspective alone will change the situation because often it is our focus on the negative that keeps us from overcoming. Perspective.

If you have spent a day thinking about all the things that have gone wrong, what are the chances that you have done anything to fix them? If you have spent a day focused on all the things you do not have, perhaps you should try spending at least one minute thinking about the things you do. Perspective.

Like I said, as a child I quickly learned to be thankful, grateful and appreciative of what I have. Perhaps this is why I so frequently take the time to think about these things. I already know the things that make me cry – all too well – and it is not a case of simply pretending that they are not there or that they do not exist because all of these things, both the good and the bad are necessary but know this; everything is temporary.

Some time ago, I heard the simple phrase – “this too shall pass”. I’ve read different stories in regards to the origin of this phrase and I do not know where truth resides but irrespective of which account is true, the message remains the same. Everything is temporary. We are always somewhere in between it all. Somewhere between what was and what will be exists us – inhabitants of the earth, property of the now. The fact is, all we have is now and our memories of the past. The future is not, nor has it ever been something we were promised, owed or guaranteed. As easily as I take each breath I could simply stop and die right here, right now. For this reason and to honour the fact that everything is indeed just a temporary affair, I am one who takes particular joy in the simple things. This week, I have had two moments which simply made me smile from my soul and so very thankful that I have been blessed with eyes to see, a brain to think and a heart to feel. Not to mention, the courage to actually take note and appreciate.

Wednesday night, just after 22:00, I received a call from Shiloh – the one I always refer to by his official title of “my beautiful boy”. Yes, it is an official title. Like the Grand Old Duke Of York. All 10,000 of his men referred to him as such. But I digress. Needless to say, at this time of the night he should have been asleep but I couldn’t help but be overjoyed at the fact that he wasn’t because it meant I got to speak to him. He told me he wanted to see me. He wanted to come to my house and watch Power Rangers. He told me he was the Green Ranger – the boy knows the deal – and I told him that I was the White Ranger. (I know they are the same person, it doesn’t matter.) He asked what I was doing and told me about his day. In as many words as he can of course, he is only three and there are still times where his sentences are not full words but they make perfect sense to me. I tell him I love him and he tells me, quite emphatically, that he loves me too. This still thrills me so very much because he has only recently started saying this. The conversation ends and I stand there with a smile, thinking these are the moments that make life so beautiful.

Post conversation, his mother exchanges a few texts with me and the final one damn near melts me where I stand. She says: “thanks for making him smile” and my day is completely made. A priceless moment just got turned up to well over 9,000.

Now fast forward just a few short days and I am stood holding my nephew in my arms. One year ago today, he entered this world and I held him for the first time several fragmented hours after he was born. I am stood, surrounded by my brothers – unrelated by blood but our hearts and souls are eternally entwined by love. Ohana. Family. I am stood surrounded by happy people, smiling, playing. Children and adults alike, bellies fat, filled to the brim with laughter and food. I hold his little shoes in my hand and I recall how tiny his feet once were. Everything is temporary. Soon, these shoes won’t fit him. Soon, this moment will be a memory. One I will cherish because, everything is temporary. All we have are the moments. As one who did not truly feel and understand what a family was until I met these brothers of mine, I live for these moments. They remind me how lucky and how blessed I am. Are there things I do not have right now? Yes. But look at all that I do have.

When the rain seems never-ending, I will forever be sheltered by my awareness of the good which surrounds me, my memories of these moments and the hope that I will get to experience just one more before I take my final breath and everything stops.