I sat with a most amazing lady yesterday. She became a widower only 5 months ago after a tragic occurrence taking place which ultimately took the life of her husband of more than 25 years. For the sake of this story, let’s call her Kim.
Kim and I sat and chatted about how she is feeling as I suspected the 5-month exhaustion would have hit by now and the devastating reality that her current situation is now the forever different life she and her kids must live. My suspicions were correct, life has become crushingly difficult and painful for Kim.
As we talked Kim made a comment that triggered a long conversation. Her statement was: "Steve, I have been reading your blogs and posts and love your dad's statement to make today count.... sadly I am not making anything count at the moment."
Why did it open up such a long conversation?
Because I needed Kim to realise that for her, right now, simply getting up (even for just a little while) is a huge accomplishment. I wanted her to know that to make the day count has nothing to do with big events, grand road trips, expensive holidays, overachieving or any such things.
To make the day count is about doing your best
with what you have, and how you are right now.
Many years ago, I had a detached retina in my right eye. I had injured my eye as a 20 year old and so this detached retina would represent my 4th surgery. I had the surgery and then the recovery began. I had to lie on my left side without getting out of bed (except for the toilet) for 10 days. For someone who never sits still, this was excruciatingly difficult. I lay there, watched VHS videos and had the occasional visitor.
My body needed time to heal, alas my ‘making today count’
moved from hyperactivity to complete inactivity.
And yet every day, I would watch the silver-looking gas bubble in my right eye slowly diminish just as it should…. I was making each day count, and count for the rest of my life; albeit in a different way to what I was primarily used to.
Healing and simply surviving can be exceptional achievements and should never be underestimated
I remember a great friend of mine (and at the time colleague) Pastor Zoran Paunovich came to my house to visit me. I will never forget what he told me a couple of weeks later; he mentioned that it was during that brief visit that my dad washed and chamoised his car for him. This small effort from my dad blew Ps Zoran’s mind and blessed him immeasurably. My dad always not only tried to make the day count but also to make the day count for OTHERS.
I listened, shared and encouraged Kim to see each day as an accomplishment. To see even the smallest achievement as a huge success. To be able to kiss her kids in the morning as they head to school and be there waiting when they return (even if all day has been spent on the couch in indescribable pain).
I wanted so much to help take her pain away, but I cannot. So I cheered her on, asked her to be kind to herself and even laughed as we re-told stories from 30 years ago – they are getting better as time goes past.
I encourage everyone to make every day count…if you are able bodied and in a good place and yet you sit on the couch all day and not seize all the possibilities then I want to give you a kick up the bum and say “come on, get out there and make the day count.”
If you are sick, hurting, frightened etc. then I ask you to be realistic, define what you can do to make the day count…
it may be as much as making it through another 24 hours,
but maybe it can and will become so much more.
By Steve Morrison