Friday, 4 July 2014

Live Your Best Life

This morning I went to the funeral for the mum of a dear friend. I have only been to one other funeral, I realise how lucky I am to be able to say that.

It was conducted by a Catholic priest, Father Bob Maguire, who is quite famous in Australia. Known for his "orthodox, yet unconventional" approach to religion, Father Bob is an exceptional human. At almost eighty years old he is a presenter on youth radio, TV personality, campaigner for the poor, champion of all and he has a good sense of humour about the church (which often gets him into trouble). I say he 'conducted' the funeral because the family aren't religious and didn't want scriptures and bible readings. It was a celebration of The Fighter*, with opportunity for anybody who wanted to share to come forward.

Stories were told of a woman who reached out to people, embraced and cared for all of those in her life, reunited family, helped people back on their feet, worked multiple jobs, made time for volunteer work, participated in charity work, gave generously, bought groceries for ill friends and drove across the city to deliver them. She was sassy, rebellious, the black sheep in the family, a bit of a rev-head, challenger of the status quo.

She rocked the world and made it better.

"But what do we do now?" questioned Father Bob. He asked for volunteers to take her place, to continue her good work. Someone responded "She is irreplaceable". Another nominated The Rock*, but Father Bob told us he didn't accepted conscription:)

The Rock has earnt her stripes. She never stopped believing in her mum, helping her family through the toughest of times, meeting every single challenge (and there were so many) battle-ready. When I embraced her after the service, the first thing she said was "How are you?". The apple didn't fall far from the tree.

When we say "Live your Best Life" a lot of us take it to mean embrace every moment: travel, have fun, be fabulous, eat burgers, climb a mountain, instagram everything, no regrets. These are all important, but I think some us lose sight of the stuff that sticks, I know I do.

Love fiercely, reach out to your community, extend a hand, ask "Are you ok?", look for ways to help others, cherish, practice kindness; this is the best that life has to offer.

So we need volunteers, people who will give back to the world now that The Fighter can't anymore.

I'm raising my hand. Who's with me?

*If you are new to my writing, all the 'characters' in my blog have nicknames to protect their anonymity. 'The Fighter' was chosen because she loved boxing and wrestling matches and battled cancer for over twenty years. 'The Rock' is my friend, who stood by her mum's side the whole time, even as a child; just being amazing.

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