Living the Day

Living is a beautiful thing. We are surrounded by nature, greenery, chirping birds, animals, the sky, stars, the sun, and the moon, and most of all, by people. All these aspects are very important in our lives, and we were created by God to be amongst them. ‘No man is an island’ is a sonnet that was written way back in 1624 by famous poet John Donne. Here is an extract:

No man is an island,

Entire of itself;

Every man is a piece of the continent, 

A part of the main.

Yet, why is it that some people prefer to be all alone and lock themselves up in their own world? Several reasons come to mind, many pretty sad. However, we are placed on this earth to live it and not exist. One must never judge another person’s troubles and decisions but instead encourage and give hope to the other. Sometimes, one feels safer at home, within the confines of those four walls, not having to speak, not having to prove oneself, not facing embarrassments or awkward situations. I know that a person with dementia will feel this way and, if given the chance, will choose to stay home and not want to leave.

Yet, life is short, and whether we have dementia, are crippled with disabilities, have cancer or some other unpleasant illness, or are simply depressed, we must make that effort to turn the key and open the door. Otherwise, one may realise that life has passed by, and no one can turn their clock back. Turn that key before it is too late.

The first stages of dementia are very frightening for the person living with it. However, as it starts to set in firmly, that person enters a different world. A world where anger, fear and happiness are quickly forgotten. Yes, both good and bad, both pros and cons, are not lasting memories anymore. They still feel all we do, but also forget more quickly than we do. They are ‘protected’ in the four walls of that same dementia where the key doesn’t turn, and no one can leave or enter. If only dementia were as important as covid was to the pharmaceutical companies, to governments, where they would invest the time and money to find a cure, a solution. Until then, we must live our lives as best as we can, each and every day. We must treasure each moment for no moment is bad. An unpleasant thought, happening or experience is there to teach us to be better people, to take care of what we say next time, holding our speech before we are sure that our words will not hurt the other. Yet are we willing to change? Are we willing to live in a better way, to be a better person? Some do and others may follow a different path. Until another experience comes along and one hopes that their attention is caught, and they plunge into the effort of change.

Yes, life is for the living. The world is so beautiful …we just have to see it. Walking along a city road shows us lots of traffic and noise. Yet in that traffic, there are people sitting in their cars, the hustle and bustle of the day is being played out in front of us, the moving of crates in a shop, the ins and outs of customers, the bus collecting and depositing passengers…so many many scenes…just stand back and watch.

And what of the countryside? Oh, it is superb. Look at God’s creations..every species of insect, bird, animal, colour, sound. Open your eyes and see what lies before you. Enjoy the beauty of your surroundings, whether you are in Maltese countryside, or in another Country. It is still so serene, so precious. Listen to the rain drops on the leaves, the pitter patter of snow on the ground, the whistle of the wind in the trees, the clap of thunder in the sky…all so amazingly beautiful.

Yes, life is for living. To you who has dementia, do not despair. God loves you and will soften the blow. Let Him take you wherever He may go, let Him lead your path to that place He chooses. Do not fight nature but take its hand and walk. He walks beside you and you are never alone. Live your life, in whatever form it is, for one day it will end, and you do not want to miss a moment, any moment, each moment. Open the door to your life and feel the air against your face and take the first step. It may be your last.

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