Make every day count

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

"A lot of people think, 'oh, someday my path will start.'
But whatever's happening in this moment IS the path."- Marianne Williamson

I have always believed that people come into your life at a certain time or you are placed in a person's life at a certain time for a reason. I don't believe things are all mapped out, there is a certain balance of chaos but it's what you choose to do when you are in the moment that changes your course. Do you choose to make the moment count or do you choose to let the moment pass? Either choice will effect the outcome of your life.

Last year my daughter started school and has been blessed with the most wonderful friends. She would ask me to have play dates with one little girl in particular and I kept saying yes but then not sending a note to get the contact information. It wasn't on purpose, like many moms I just was busy and kept forgetting. In January of this year she was invited to this little girl's birthday party so I finally had the info! ! I met Clara's mom Vanessa and was instantly drawn into her warm smile and enthusiastic greeting. We chatted for a minute about the girls asking for a play date and it was finally nice to put a face to the little girl who's name peppered stories in each of our homes since the beginning of the school year. The party was at a busy indoor play space and other kids were arriving so we did the customary smile, said we'd chat in a bit and moved focus to our daughters. Vanessa greeting everyone with this incredible warmth  and the girls running off down the stairs to the play space.

There was a moment when a mutual friend who was at the party shared something with me and in that moment I made a choice. And I am forever better because of it.

That day changed many things for us. The girls have their play dates and Clara was the first of Amelia's friends to come for a sleepover. They joke that they are sisters and always ask to stay longer when it's time to head home. We've gotten to know Vanessa  and Jake. Jake has taught me what true grace under pressure, strength and courage look like.Vanessa shared her light with me and has taught me so much about resilience, strength, determination, love and courage. Her mantra was "Make every day count" and she really did.  She smiled through her pain, made every memory possible and brought positive energy to every situation.

11 month has passed since we first met. And it's so unfair that we don't get to have more time.

On November 6th, 2017, cancer took her, despite her incredible fight to stop it. A celebration of her life took place last week and it was one of the most beautiful events I have ever attended. The service took place in a beautiful location overlooking the water. It was standing room only and  people shared stories about how Vanessa impacted their lives and became part of their story. It was overcast and drizzly but we could all feel her light in that room.

I'm blessed to be part of her story and that she has become part of mine. Our girls share a sweet bond that I hope continues to grow over time. They love each other and I was so proud of Amelia last week for wanting to be with her friend. Amelia never left her side after the formal part of the celebration was over.

When we left the service, it was starting to rain and night was falling, Amelia sat quietly in the back of the car. As I tucked her into bed that night I asked her what she was thinking about in the car. She looked up at me and said "Mommy, you know Clara's mommy will always be with her and when Clara is sad I will hug her and make her happy." And I know that she will.

Today would have been her 33rd birthday. Her family had asked us to all think of her today and to spread kindness to honour her. Make today count. Make today better for someone else, share a smile, say hello, buy someone's coffee, ask someone how they are and take the time to be in the moment and present with them.

So Happy Birthday Ness! I know so many people will celebrate you again today and we will do our best to make ever day count.

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