Life is fragile, so live every day as if it would be your last one. We had a lot of luck in our family in the past, most of the family members have been healthy except for some common health issues that are not necessarily deadly. Ok, I suffered from depression in the past and I had issues with anxiety until I developed strategies to get over it, my grandpa got diabetes, and my grandma does sometimes have issues with her blood pressure, but my point is that nobody was terminal ill. That changed with the shocking brain tumor diagnosis of my uncle. Life is fragile.
I would say it’s ironic if it wouldn’t be that sad. When I sat together with my uncle two years ago, pondering about this and that, we both said that we always have to stick together. Considering the age of grandma and grandpa, they will go some day in the future, that’s what we talked about. We all started to think about the age of grandma and grandpa, even they often prepared us with sarcasm that they basically reached the last chapter of their lives. At this time, I never thought about the possibility that my uncle, their son might have to go first. When my uncle got the Glioblastoma diagnosis at the beginning of the year, it was surreal.
Most of us probably didn’t think about serious subjects when we were kids, but teenagers start to talk about more serious things with their friends at some point. I mean, we all grew up with the fact that life is not eternal, we get aware of it early. However, if everyone beside you is healthy since decades, then severe disease and death seems to occur everywhere and far way, just not around you, and it seems all your loved ones live under a protective shield. But then we got reminded that nobody is immune, this shield shattered with his diagnosis, the safety bubble popped.
As said, we all thought about bad possibilities beside good ones, but that my 48 years old uncle would be the first person in the family to get a horrible diagnosis, that seemed to be so impossible that I really have never spent a single thought on it before. He looked a lot younger, like he was just almost 40 years old, a very active and healthy person who started his own company and who had a lot of fun in his life. Now he doesn’t look active, healthy and self-determined anymore, and as someone who is not very religious, I’d say that’s maybe something that coincidence could change, but what it can’t change is my respect for him.
There is a ticking time bomb in his head, they couldn’t defuse it, all we know is that the timer is slowed down for a while, which means the tumor didn’t take more room after the therapies but the cells are still active. More and more tasks become a challenge for my uncle, but he keeps moving. He has now so many issues that it’s hard to list them all, but yet he is still strong and wants to have a good time with us. Sometimes it’s very difficult with him when he is in a bad mood, other days you forget that he is terminal ill at all. Sometimes he speaks clear like nothing happened, other times you have to give your best to understand him. Sometimes there are so many symptoms, other days he just feels surprisingly good to the point that you almost forget his tumor.
I am now more aware of it than ever, we all are fragile, but even if we are, I do also understand now that the power of mind is stronger than I thought, because he really worked so hard to get more time. Unless a wonder happens, we all including my uncle know that he can’t hold on the timer forever, we are aware that the time is ticking. While we had certain question, for example when and how it will happen, it doesn’t matter to me anymore. What matters the most is the here and now. We try to enjoy every single day, it becomes more difficult, but we are grateful for every single day. We had to accept the challenge and try our best.
I am grateful for my family, I always was. We always had good relations in our family, we always loved each other. If you think you can hug someone tomorrow, you won’t do it today, that never meant something bad, we’ve just been healthy and naive. We’ve always been shy to show affection and emotions, because things were normal. Today we hug each other more than ever, because now life taught us not to wait. Life is fragile, and the truth is you can’t know if you still can hug someone tomorrow, and I learned I should do it today. Currently my uncle needs the hugs the most, and I noticed it helps him a lot to forget negative thoughts.
If you and your loved ones are like we’ve been, be grateful to be healthy and enjoy every single day. Show your loved ones that you love them, go hug them even if it seems excessively polite. If you and your loved ones go through difficulties too, hug each other as well and keep on moving even with the challenge.
This post was inspired by today’s WordPress one-word prompt. I wrote this post after I spend a wonderful day together with my uncle. He does now have a really nifty wheelchair. When he feels good enough to go outside, I am often his chauffeur. When we are outside, communication gets better after a while and he has less trouble to find the right words. The most recent problem is that he doesn’t feel hungry anymore, but over the last days we shared a french fries package and chicken nuggets and other things, nonetheless it’s improvable. I am grateful if he tells me that I move the wheelchair too fast or too slow, I like it if he tells me the direction and when he prefers one curb over another. It feels like I get sparkles in my eyes if he tells me that he doesn’t want to sit anymore and if he wants to walk five minutes with the handles and behind the chair. I am grateful that we can still do these things together and when he forgets that he’s ill.
Life might be fragile, but strong company is not. Here my friend, see how you’re not alone and that we can still do things together, that’s the way how I want to make someone forget the difficulties for a moment.