Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Day 8: A somber day.

I’ve got four blog posts that I’m working on.  They’re the meaty kind that usually involve a fair amount of psyching myself up before posting them.  I promise you that I have some doozies in my pocket, on hot topics like the abortion debate in Canada, ‘traditional marriage’, and even some silly ones like "the ‘key’ to understanding Zita".  But tonight, I can’t bring myself to finish any of them.  

Sadly, tonight my mind is occupied by another topic in its entirety.  

Tonight, my body is sitting in my living room…but my heart is in the ICU at the University Hospital.

This morning, I received an email from one of my vendors.  Well, to be technically accurate, it was sent from a vendor’s account but written by her sister.  This email was sent to me late last night, with the subject line: Important. It informed me that there had been an accident and asked me to call her right away.  Of course, I did.

What I learnt in this conversation chills me to the bone even now, twelve hours later.  A bison had attacked my friend and vendor, Larissa from Thundering Ground Bison Ranch.  Apparently, we are in the midst of mating season, a time during which male bison because more aggressive and significantly more dangerous.  Larissa is an extremely experienced rancher, but her profession is one that carries extraordinary risks- a tragic reality that she has now experienced first hand

I am relieved to know that, while the process will be long and tedious, Larissa is expected to make a full recovery.  She is already showing remarkable recuperation from her life threatening injuries and is even able to communicate through writing.  This made me shed tears of happiness. But the weight of this incident has not been lost on me.

Everywhere I look, I see anger. I see sadness. I see grief. I see pain. I see people pitting themselves against each other, defining themselves by religious, politicals, philosophical or even social labels that do nothing but tear us apart. 

Don’t get me wrong- I also see love, joy, happiness, compassion and sympathy…and would even go so far as to say that these outweigh the ugly.  But the fact of the matter is that we are inundated with the negativity of life on a damn near constant basis.

Life is short. So short. Shorter than we can imagine.  And it is unpredictable.  Most of us simpy do not know when our end will come.  This is the reality that I had to face when I was sick.  This is also the reality that Larissa and her family, and so many others around the world, are facing now.

Now, I’m not going to get all preachy and tell you that should always embrace the positive, or ignore the negative. I’m not some trendy meme-style inspirational poster. What I am going to say is this:

One day, all that will be left on this planet is the memory of who you used to be. 

Time is limited. How you spend it largely impacts how others perceive you. So ask yourself, does the way you invest your time truly reflect the kind of person you are and that you want to be remembered as?

When I think of Larissa, I think of a person who is cheerful, positive and optimistic. I think a person who is dedicated to her family and to her business. I see a person who has displayed commitment, loyalty and strength in adversity.  I see in her the kind of person I want to be.

Her time, in my presence, was well spent- building the business she loves and promoting the local movement she so believes in.   Her impact in my life has been positive.

And it forces me to ask myself: Am I distributing my time in a way that truly reflects the human being I want to be remembered as?  And while, for the most part, I believe the answer to be yes- I’ll tell you one thing: today was not a day I spent engaging in frivolous arguments with total strangers about matters that I really don’t care that much about.  Today was a day I spent treasuring my friends and family, supporting a cause I believe in, laughing with true friends online, and mostly just being grateful that I'm alive.

So tonight, as I send out prayers and sincere hopes for a fast and speedy recovery, I also send out a quiet thank you to God and to the Universe. 

Thank you for sparring my friend- she has so much more life to live.

Thank you for being there as she recovers; please send her strength through her times of pain.

And thank you for the reminder that life is short. Because every so often, I need a reminder to force me to refocus on the things that matter. 

This blog is part of the 2012 Summer Blog Challenge (31 posts in 31 days).  To follow along with my fellow writers, visit their blogs: 

Natasha at Natural Urban Mamas
Meaghan at Magz D Life
Aramelle at One Wheeler's World

Tam at Tam I Am 

Liam at In The Now 

Jessica at 2plus2X2 


  1. Zita, I'm so sorry to hear of your friend's accident, and I am so incredibly thankful that her prognosis is good for a full recovery.

    This post really hit home for me tonight. I honestly couldn't even begin to express how much I needed it. So, let me just leave a feeble thank you.

  2. Well said and yes, the universe does have it's way of reminding us of this in some very in your face ways! I am so glad that Larissa is going to make a full recovery and I look forward to seeing her at the market again in the future!

  3. I'm sorry to hear about your friend. At the same time, I'm glad to hear the prognosis is good.

  4. That's tragic. I'm glad she's making a strong recovery, give her our best wishes!