The Sunday Mail
I WAS ambushed by life. As I stood there, I froze. Time raced as all the moments scampered through my mind in a compressed stream. I felt as though wild thoughts were thinking through me and I could not contain them. I stood motionless, dumb, flustered and searching. I was too deeply pained to utter a sound. It was a moment of grief, too deep for my little brain to contain.
As I touched her, she felt stone cold. I looked at her beautiful face and it now wore an ash-white hue. It was her but not her. It was her body that was now life-less and just laying there on the thin hospital bed. She was now gone, so soon, so untimely. A chapter closed in an engrossing book that should never have finished.
My wife of nine years was now dead. Life just seemed strange then and what I thought I knew I realised I did not know. What I thought I understood, stood as a lesson unlearnt. I was dumbfounded and shattered. That moment had been too much to contain at once. I was pained and felt ambushed and robbed.
It was in the Year of Our Lord 2006 that Esther passed on. Life is a strange teacher that prefers to teach through furnaces and crucibles rather than boring, lifeless pedantic and pedestrian lectures. Life prefers to teach through time-travel, frame-shifting, metaphors, experience, conversations and reflections.
The passing on of my late wife gorged me, wrenched my soul and gave me undiluted and potent portion of life lessons that take a lifetime to unravel. Of those lessons, one of the most valuable one is the importance of celebration.
Value every moment
Life is not a contourless continuum. It is a series of time-frames that sometimes appear like an unending continuum. Life’s shifts and turns are easier to understand in retrospect.
Yet each moment has its own signature and time-stamp. Each moment matters, lives on and is worth celebrating. When you lose a loved one it is hard for your friends and relatives to understand how and what you feel.
They may see your face, touch your hand, hug you tightly and walk away but they will never see what you see and feel what you feel.
They will never see all the many little videos of moments that play through your mind. Sometimes it takes death for us to value the moments that look so ordinary and repeatable. Do not make that mistake. Live in the present and live out each moment.
Value every moment, create and treasure every memory. Let your mind be present and your spirit be alert. No two moments are the same and no two days are alike. Each day, each hour is special, precious and peculiar.
Celebrate every moment and thank God for every opportunity.
Celebrate the good times, they show you how abundant life can be.
Celebrate the dark days, they herald the coming of breakthroughs and testimonies.
Celebrate the ordinary days, they are the foundation of all greatness.
Celebrate the moments that your enemies snipe at you, they show that you are important enough to recognise.
Celebrate the moments of your elevation, they show that heights can be scaled and dreams can come true.
Celebrate the moments of your shame, they show that you,too, like all of us, are just human and a candidate of grace.
Never waste a moment for every moment is pregnant with opportunity and priceless information.
Some time ago I was talking to a friend and she suggested that we should do a joint motivational presentation if she gets the time. Being an accountant by training, I wondered what her subject would be.
Before I could dream of balance sheets, financial statements, budgets and cash flows she blurted, “A cup of tea!” She went on to share her philosophy and metaphor of the cup of tea.
She said she loves to deliberately and slowly sip her tea boiling-point hot and steamy.
She loves every one of those refreshing tea moments.
Unfortunately at times she has to put her cup down and attend to some issue or meeting.
When she comes back to her cup of tea, she finds it cold and the experience is not the same anymore for her. The tea is bland, filmy and not the same. For her, life is like a cup of tea.
“I want to sip every moment,” she whispered in her velvet voice. She went on to tell me how she wants to take in every moment while it is hot.
Although she has a busy schedule as a finance director, she wants to be there at the “hot tea cup” moments of her husband, children and the people that matter in her life. With a slight gaze she said: “Sip it while it is there!”
Never let special moments pass by uncelebrated. Today’s tea is not the same as tomorrow’s brew. Life is too precious to be wasted through endless sulking, mindless arguments and repeating dateless past hurts.
Celebrate and value people more than things.
Express gratitude more than complaints.
Symbols should never replace reality.
People matter more than trinkets.
Celebration is more than the number of trinkets you get but an issue of the heart. You do not have to wait for someone’s life to come to an end to celebrate it. It is useless to squander years nursing and breeding hurts, only to say I am sorry in the last moments of life. Such is mindless living. Live every day with a spirit of gratitude. Express your appreciation whenever you can.
Celebrate the people in your life’s drama in every way you can. Small and big celebrations matter. No day should ever pass without you celebrating someone who matters to you.
Appreciate your partner and let them know they matter and you think they are special. Instead of saying, “I love you” now, do not wait until your partner is dead to say, “I loved you.” Let those rays of appreciation dart from your eyes. Never let petty inconveniences blind you from the special blessings that come from the people in your life.
It is easy to celebrate everyone else and forget to celebrate yourself.
Express gratitude for who you are, where you have been and where you are going. Your past may be marred and ugly, that is the past.
Never let your past take up today and the rest of your life.
Never let yesterday occupy all of tomorrow. You have value and you matter. A diamond in a dark pit does not turn into a pebble. You have value and there is something special for you to live for. Never let hope die.
Thank you for following me and reading this column. I treasure this opportunity to share my heart and thoughts with you. Hoping that each instalment you read is a celebration of the relationship we share. Have a prosperous 2015 filled with promise and opportunity.
Committed to your greatness
Milton Kamwendo is a cutting-edge international transformational and inspirational speaker, author and coach. He is a strategy and innovation consultant and leadership coach. His life purpose is to inspire people to release the greatness trapped in them. He can be reached at: [email protected] and on WhatsApp at: 0772422634.