Monday, 26 November 2012

The people who play a part in your life

As I think about this post, I am reminded of "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" by Mitch Alborn, and as I have just retrieved my copy this post will be doted with quotes I recall.

Even that small act, is a role someone played in my life, a friend who spoke so strongly about the book it motivated me to read it.

Sometimes, you take the time to pause, to reflect.
Most recently I feel I have been quite melancholy, not in entirely gloomy way, but more in appreciation of the way which life works, the people who affect lives and the mark people leave.

There is no getting away from a bit of honesty, that news seems more frequent of people I have known through work becoming ill, and in some cases receiving news of people passing.

"That there are no random acts, that we are all connected. That you can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind."

A few years ago, well a significant few, the reflection of not working too hard, because "who'd turn up at your funeral?" became too true. My boss passed away. He had been ill for some time.

Steve hired me in 2001. Originally I thought he'd made a mistake. After a while I started to think it his revenge, mine was a post he had not supported the creation of, so what better way to prove a point by recruiting someone who knew nothing about the core subject- construction!

Steve and I quickly developed a relationship of manager- subordinate, but I think he grew to appreciate my skills, and at times it was more parent-child. I could wind him up on occasion that he started with the organisation the same year I was born- it was a great line to reel him in. This is not rose tinted spectacles, the  greatest compliment you could pay Steve was as "a cantankerous old git" and it is always the way I think of him.

When my marriage broke down shortly after, Steve was in the process of moving up north. By coincidence my equivalent post also became vacant and Steve offered me the post. And so I got the opportunity to start my life over, because of Steve.

The relationship I had developed with Steve changed a lot over the years that followed. I would go on secondment to find my own way. On my return it was difficult to find a footing again, and shortly after Steve would become too ill to work.

Steve got married, to Sandra, a lovely woman who brought him so much strength, his motivation for moving up North, and the person who gave him a life outside of work.

And that is the thing I remember of his funeral. For his many years of service, for his commitment to his role, there were so few who made the effort to be at his funeral.
And this is another lesson, that even when passed, Steve has offered.

I spoke to Sandra after the funeral. I had come to realise how much Steve had affected my life. You see, if I hadn't moved up North- and there is no other reason this would have come to being if not for Steve, I would not have met Mr J. And that is the something which I cannot even begin to express my gratitude for.
Sandra just looked at me and said "Steve knew you would have moved back home, and you would have left the organisation, he wanted to keep you."
And in that statement, two things were confirmed- Steve was intelligent beyond anything, I had not contemplated moving home but yes, this would have been my only real option, and that, as it turned out, I had proved my ability to do my job.

" "Strangers" the Blue Man said, "are just family you have yet to come to know."

As life moves on, I find myself indebted to Steve more than ever, not only have Mr J and I made a go of things but we have also brought three amazing children into the world.

And in becoming a parent I have been offered so many new experiences, to challenge me, to make me a person I would never have imagined all those years ago.

"Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them. They move on . They move away. The moments that used to define them - a mother's approval, a father's nod- are covered by moments of their own accomplishments. It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens, that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives."

I have been given so much love in my life, from my family, and now from the family that has been created, by a love between Mr J and I.

Life may seem so difficult at times, but as you struggle through the challenges, and overcome them, in their place great things take place and grow.

Life tests you, and it is from where you take your strength that becomes your home, your base of energy. And how you invest in that, the effort you create, that becomes the direction you take.

"That's because no one is born with anger. And when we die, the soul is freed of it. But now, here, in order to move on, you must understand why you felt what you did, and why you no longer need to feel it."


  1. Yup - cantankerous old git to be sure. Always the bad cop! Shame even his supposed oldest and closest colleagues couldn't be bothered to make the funeral.

    And you were the only person who doubted you could do your job! You were part of the gang from day 1.

    Still don't know what an RSA actually does though. *ducks. x

  2. Oh my this post has sent shivers down my arms and given me goosebumps.
    Liska x


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