I was at my thinking spot, a chair overlooking the beach dubbed so for its ability to grant you an epiphany or two. I’d shared many a toasty hot chocolate on that seat with a dear friend of mine, chewing the fat about life. Today’s hand warmer was a soy chai latte, with the late autumnal sun beating down so hard, it ripped through my black woollen jumper and scalded my forehead. I missed summer.
A shiny red scooter whirred up beside me, parked, and said “hello”. A man just shy of my dad’s age with a rolled sleeve checked shirt and shorts revealing seasons of tan talked intermittently to me. I wasn’t really in the mood as I had lost my dad two weeks before, but I persisted with myself and leant an ear.
Every breath he took forced his shoulders to his ears and the action sounded laborious. We talked about how great it is living at the beach, making the most of life and how he’d done a lot of overseas travelling in the past couple of years; while he still could. This motor-scooter man was so positive and happy with his life.
“I have a muscle wasting disease. The doctors only gave me 12 months and that was a couple of years ago…”
“I’ve told my kids I’ve spent their inheritance travelling…”
“But now I can’t really… I’m in this…” he said tapping the sun fleck on his permanent chair.
This kind soul had been told to expect the worst and he had taken that as a cue to embrace the life he has and appreciate every moment for what it’s worth. Every day that he could, he visited the local café, picked up a cup of coffee and drank it overlooking the beauty before us.
Struggling at a sad point in my life, I took the time to listen to a personalised message for me. No matter what your struggles, there is always someone out there that may be in a worse off situation than you, but is still making it the best that they can. And for that, I am grateful that I have listened.