Monday, November 07, 2005

A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven

ONE OF my favourite sayings of all time is that when the pupil is ready the teacher will come.

The lessons we will be taught by that teacher may not be easy, and may not be enjoyable (think A Level History or the fact that perhaps realising your favourite outfit actually makes you look like a Weeble)- but they are there to better us, to change us, to make us grow in some way.
Most of the time we won't even realise we are being taught a lesson until it is well over and we look back weeks or months later.
And then, sometimes, it is obvious from the outset that we are enduring something which will change us completely.
The last few weeks have been filled with these experiences for me- with lessons to be learned- tears to be shed and a healthy dose of laughter too.
It would be impossible for me to write this column this week without some reference to the loss of our dear friend and colleague Siobhan McEleney. While my personal tribute to her was published in Tuesday's 'Journal', her loss is not something which we can easily move on from.
To be honest, I, like many who knew her, have a lot of questions. We are raging at the world and struggling to come to terms with why someone so young and so full of life and faith could be taken from us.
But in my anger, my disbelief and my grief there have been some glimmers of light.
I met an old friend last week. The girl in question (because to me she will always be 16 - serious denial we are all hurtling towards the big 3-0) broke the news to me she was expecting her first baby.
What made her announcement so heart-warming and wonderful was that before now she had been unsure as to whether to not she would ever be able to have children.
If there is one sure fire way to give you a good kick up the rear end and remind you that there is goodness out there, it is to hear of an impending new arrival. (The only downside being it has switched on my very own broody button again and the big man in my life is running scared as he catches me staring soppy eyed over the ickle baby sections in the Mothercare catalogue- I've even chosen names and decided on a nursery theme...just in case!).
In addition, I've been out buying a shiny new outfit for wear to the wedding of a very dear friend in six weeks time and have met up with her to swap presents, share a couple (okay, three) bottles of wine and talk about all sorts of wedding related nonsense.

Worry about tomorrow
I have become stupidly excited at the fact that I have, for the first time in my life ever, bought a hat. (A rather grand affair in chocolate brown from Debenhams). I allowed myself to indulge in my purchase after scoring an amazing Ebay bargain with the outfit to match. Himself can't quite see the logic in my spending the money I saved elsewhere- I imagine it is a woman thing.
But more than that, I'm so very excited about seeing said friend get married in the soft glow of Thornhill Chapel, while the choir sings her favourite Christmas hymns.
I know how full of hope and love she will feel on that day and I know how a new stage of life is just really starting for her as she becomes a smug married.
I can only describe it as a time of extreme emotions, of hope, of loss, of excitement and somewhere in the middle I'm trying to keep it all together and stay as sane as possible so that the wee man doesn't realise mammy is a wee bit more mental than usual. (In fairness, I think he has twigged something is up. He keeps walking up to me, cuddling in and saying "Hi mammy, Hi Gasseph" (his weird pronunciation for Joseph) -speaking my response to him before I get the chance).
But then my attitudes have changed recently. While I'm a great believer in routine, I've allowed myself to sneak extra sleepy cuddles with Joseph in the evening because sometimes you just have to realise life is too short not too.
I've made a promise, and so far kept it, to sit down and read his favourite books to him in the evening- even it means reading "Stan the Snail" 101 times.
If he wants to practice his animal sounds, over and over while I'm desperately trying to doing the washing, I'll just plonk my bum down on the kitchen floor and act them out with him.
And If I see the jewellery to match my wedding outfit I throw my fear of impending poverty out the window and buy it- because life is for living not for worrying constantly about tomorrow (which I truly believe is the curse of many a Derry woman).
Sometimes it takes these extremes in personal experience to make you sit up and take notice. It is very easy to dooter along in life, just existing and getting through each day the best you can.
The lessons I've learned recently, and which I'll continue to learn over the coming weeks as these experiences sink in, is that there is good and bad out there. There is joy and sadness and it's up to us to make the most of what we have when we have it.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...