What a beautiful HOT Wednesday morning it is in Agde today! The river Herault is looking sparklingly peaceful. The bike path and river bank were already scattered with cyclists, fishermen, and dog walkers when I meandered back with Peter from his guitar lesson.
I’ve been lazily delinquent with the whole blogging thing. Instead of going through all the photos (as it takes a while to upload) to post of our recent trips, visits with loved ones in Agde, and family life here; I’ve been filling my days with lots of reading and learning, enjoying family and friends, and just soaking up life.
This morning has been a relaxing one. I enjoyed hanging my clean laundry to dry outside on the line in the already hot sun (the forecast today is a high of 30 degrees Celsius). I taught Peter how to make French toast, or as the French call it – pain perdu (literally translated as lost bread) with our old baguettes. Then there were bike rides to and from guitar lesson. We arrived home to find Lucy teaching Edmund to read. I was over the moon delighted to find him reading simple sentences from the computer screen. The two older kids practiced reading/singing their sheet music for music class tomorrow. I took a video of our morning right before the kids all decided to jump into the pool at around 10:30 this morning.
Life has been GOOD. So many perfect days with the kids in the pool, and a full week of fantastic visitors (a surprise visit from my sister!) and my dear friends Pauline and her wife Melissa. Agde is getting into the full swing of the tourist season. I heard a lot of German being spoken at the supermarket yesterday, and the food prices at the markets have increased to reflect the high season.
We have 2 more weeks here. Can you believe it?! Two more weeks before we travel slowly towards Paris, visiting places we want to catch before we go home. The kids are getting excited about coming back, seeing old friends, having their own home again to decorate and put pictures on the wall. They’re looking forward to unpacking their boxes of Lego and books, and the little amount of toys we stored away. Lucy says that opening our boxes will be like “a thousand Christmases”, and she’s right. I love that there’s always something to look forward to.
Yesterday was my father’s 10 year death anniversary. It was 10 years ago that I stood at the end of his bed in the Royal Alexandra Hospital’s ICU and watched him take his last breath. Susan was only 11 months old, and I was pregnant with Peter at the time. I remember watching him labour towards death, feeling so helpless and full of numbing anguish. I remember thinking how birth and death shared a similar labour. The pain and exertion it takes in the beginning and at the end of life here on earth often times mirror each other.
It was then that something changed in me – a realization that life is too short to just sit around and watch it go by. Loss is such a great motivator.
I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…to put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. ~ Henry David Thoreau
Watching my parents suffer chronic illnesses for several years and losing them through death at their ages of 49 and 50, was the catalyst to make the most of my life here on earth. My eyes were opened to the reality that every day that passes is one day closer to the our death. So why not make the most of this life, live fully and boldly, do the things we always wished we could do….why not “live deeply and suck out all the marrow of life”?
Sometimes, I find myself bewildered by an inner urgency to learn and experience the beauty in the world. It frightens me when I find myself fiercely wanting to cram as much life as I possibly can during my time here on earth. Perhaps it is because I feel as if I am living my parents’ lost years for them. I hope to bring honour to them by becoming the best person God has designed for me to be, and help my children, their grandchildren, grow up to be fine, outstanding world citizens.
My children make me crazy proud. They are the mirrors of truth in my life, always challenging me to work on my shortcomings because I so badly want to do right by them. I am so grateful to have had them early in my life so that I can enjoy them in my youth and still have the vibrancy and energy (I hope) to be present for my grandkids.
There’s so much growth and goals to aim towards, so many things to hope for. My hope is that one day I can work towards making a difference in the world. I’m praying and working towards this little by little, and I can’t help but feel such an excitement and hope for the brightness of the future. These past two years have been the best years of my life so far. I am grateful.