This morning while getting ready to go out, my husband called to me from downstairs.
“Get your camera, there’s a hawk in the garden.”
I rushed downstairs into the kitchen. There on the lawn stood a goshawk. Its golden eyes staring straight at me as I stood in the shadows of the kitchen, photographing it through the glass. Its movements were too quick for my camera to follow and I didn’t have time to grab my tripod.
As I stood watching, I thought how sad it was to see this powerful bird killing and plucking the smaller one, but we as a race are no different as we kill and slaughter for food too.
At the moment, I haven’t had time to write or work on my novel. The death of my mother put my writing on hold while my sister, husband and I sorted out her funeral. Then over the weeks until her special day, I was busy writing her eulogy.
On the 7th Oct 2000, my mum handed me a slip of paper telling me as I was the oldest daughter, like the girl from ‘Little House on the Prairie’ one of her favourite programmes, I had to read these words out at her funeral.
It said: Remember me with a smile and laughter, but if you remember me with tears, don’t remember me at all.
15 years after mum gave me the slip of paper almost to the day, I stood and read those words out to her family and friends.
Life is full of coincidences, I suppose but it does make you stop and think.
Even more so when just a couple of days after Mum passed away, Russell and I were in a supermarket, and the lady at the till made a passing comment about how people today seem far less happier than her grandparents’ generation. She was telling us that her grandfather always said, ‘It takes no time at all to make someone sad, but a lot of hard work to make someone smile.’
The lady’s comment made me realise just what the theme of my eulogy should be as after all my mum loved having a good laugh, and always made other people smile.
On the day we had mum’s funeral as we waited to follow her coffin in, to begin her service of thanksgiving, my friend touched my arm and said, ‘look a rainbow.’
How could I not smile at that, in all that sadness a sign of happiness. That from out of the darkness came a beam of bright colours as the sun broke through.
Watching the goshawk today makes you realise how fleeting life can be, so it is far better to live and laugh, than to be sad about things you cannot change. I know life can be tough on us all at times, and my mum’s life was never easy. The lady at the till was brought up by her grandparents so she must have suffered a great loss too.
Learning how to deal with sadness can be hard on us all, but then life isn’t meant to be easy all the time. I think we all need to remember it takes no time at all to make someone sad, but a lot of hard work to make someone smile.
So next time life throws you a bout of sadness, shed some tears, then learn how to smile again, and share happiness with others. Hopefully, we can help others to get over their sadness, and make the world a better place for all to live in.
Have a great week,