Saying goodbye doesn’t mean anything. It is the time we spent together that matters, not how we left it.
My Aunt died this week after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s. It is not her death that we shall remember though it is the full and wonderful life that she led and shared with us which will stick forever in our minds. It made me think about what we consider as successful? Is it achieving our dreams, making lots of money being very intelligent? Or, is it what we leave behind in memories when we go?
It is long been said that you can’t take money with you when you depart this world so the making of it here must surely be to make yourself and those you love comfortable. My aunt and her husband worked hard to provide a comfortable life for their family. They used their earnings to provide essentials but also to ensure that they had many happy holidays together and were able to do a lot of fun things as a family. The money was not put in the bank for a rainy day it was utilized every day to make life happier. Quite late in age my aunt decided to do an Open University degree to challenge her mind. She had not had the opportunity to go to university when younger as money was tight and she did what was expected and left school going straight to work as a typist then later as a private secretary. She studied for this whilst working and caring for her family. Proving to us all that if you want something enough you will find a way to go get it. She passed with flying colors, as we all knew she would. She had a quiet determination to achieve without fuss or drama in a practical hard working way. We can all learn from that. Anything worthwhile takes application and effort but if we want it and believe enough in ourselves, nothing should stop us from getting it.
When retired she moved with her husband and youngest son out to Australia to live near her eldest son who had recently been widowed. She never believed home was a particular place but rather it was wherever the people you love were. She embraced the Australian life with vigor doing things she had not had the opportunity to do back home when working. She went horse riding for the first time and learned how to make the most amazing 3d cards. She began to dressmaker and learned embroidery. Presents sent home were always beautiful, thoughtful and just perfectly suited to the recipient’s needs. She traveled back to Scotland several times and despite her age was never put off by the exceptionally long flight. She was someone who didn’t just talk about doing something, she went and did it. We had many long conversations through the help of the amazing Skype application. We would have tea and cake and feel as if we were actually sitting in the front room having a chat and not thousands of miles apart. When I would say I am thinking about doing this or that her advice was always the same “life is too short to waste too much time thinking about doing something. If you want to do it go do it, stop talking about it and if you don’t let it go and move on to the next thing” .I would laugh and make excuses “it’s not that simple or I don’t have the time, money etc.” She would simply smile; shake her head and say again “if you want it enough you will find a way, there is always a way if you have enough desire”. Of course she was right and sometimes all I needed to hear was her quiet conviction that I could do it and that I wasn’t daft thinking I could.
Her physical passing is a huge loss to her family of that there is no doubt. Her presence in all of our lives though is too strong to ever truly be lost. Now that is what I call being a true success.