Learning to enjoy the present

Posted by watchmen
July 11, 2017
Posted in OPINION

I met Jessie Joy Lund, a patient of my aunt’s friend for a few years,  and she was somebody who has changed my life.
They said she was lovely, adorable, and awesome in many ways; however, we did not meet under such circumstances. When I met her, she was in the late stages of dementia and was not as sociable as she was normally.
“Jess” and her family owned a summer cabin in Gull Lake and I was invited to spend a few weeks there – which I was very thankful for. The stay opened me up to many Canadian customs.
It is common knowledge that many countries do not hold close family ties like the Philippines, but I saw a different side to Canadian culture during that time. The family (even if living very different lives) is still very close; perhaps the work of Jess, who is the Lund family matriarch.
My aunt’s friend, who has been her care provider for years, had high praises for everyone, particularly Jess. Lund was a woman who was so generous and loving to everyone she met.
What made me adore her more and see her as an inspiration was witnessing how she strived to live every day. She made me realize how life is important and it is not the time or distance of the journey that is important, but the experiences.
At this stage of her life, everyone was waiting for her to go. Yet she managed to hold on.
Doctors told her she would not last for more than a couple years but she proved them wrong. She surpassed the timeline provided by her doctors, despite an atrial fibrillation, an abnormality in the heart’s rhythm which could result in rapid and irregular beating. The fact that she contradicted her doctors’ prognoses made me realize nobody really knows when they will live the “earthly life” – it is in God’s perfect time.
Jess was also a woman of God. Despite following different faiths, she a Presbyterian and myself a Catholic, I admired how she served the Lord.
Indeed, religion is just a religion and it does not matter in the end the specific sect, what matters most are the wonderful acts done in the service of God, fellow man, and all His creation.
She also reminded me of my mom. They somewhat share similar facial features and it created even more of an attachment.
When Jess passed away, it felt like I had lost someone very dear, even if we had just known each other during this summer.
What I learned from her is to focus on today. Nobody knows whether you will wake up the next day or not, so it is important to make each day count. Many of us are busy thinking about the future and do not see what today really is – a present./WDJ

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