Frailties and strenghts

The wind is whining outside my window…it sound almost like a cry…

I have mentioned that before I go to sleep every night I say thanks for what the day has brought. Well, I think today, there has been a lot to be thankful for so I feel the urge to share this in writing, five hours before I need to wake up to a “new day”

Maybe the wind will have found its rest by then…

Wouldn’t you agree that we understand the importance of gratitude more when we encounter situations where life’s frailties become evident?

Like an earthquake? Or a message of an incurable disease?

I had both things affect two of my friends just recently. The Chilean cleaning lady at work who not only has become a dear friend but a role model and a source of inspiration, was suffering very bad today from the earthquake (800 times stronger than the one on Haiti!) that struck the area in Chile where her family lives.

In my limited Spanish I gave her my support and in my unlimited language of humanity, I gave her a hug as she cried.

She is the strongest woman I have met and she reminds me everyday that life for a major part of people in the world isn’t about the size of their new flat screen or how many “friends” they have on Facebook.

Life – for many, many people, is a constant struggle and hard labor.

Trabajo – she says – is all that matters. You work hard and save your dinero and support la familia. Every month she sends money to her nephew so that he can go to school, while she doesn’t even allow herself a vacation. She talks about the importance of being a good person, amable, like Helen, she says, and smiles. And when I get back from my vacation (which in my opinion is when I leave the supermarket for good to start creating a life’s work in line with my dreams, although she insists I come back) we will joke about me being tired in the morning, “otro día mas”, el cafecito, the time that flies by rapido and about when I will come and visit her family in Chile.

A home that may not even exist anymore. How sad is that?!

What words of comfort are there, in any language, to that?

The other thing that made me remember how frail our lives are and how quickly things can change is that one of my closest friend’s father was diagnosed with incurable cancer, which completely turned her world around and instead of going to Australia, sent her off on another journey – one she was not prepared to take, but one that leaves no other choice than to arm yourself with a lot of faith – and good friends!

Therefor, having tea with my best friends in their living room tonight was oh so meaningful.

My sad friend – who has always been my most happy friend – my two best friends – who are leaving for the Philippines in two days – and me – who is staying – trabajando, experiencing la vida and soon, while the wind weeps outside my window – dormiendo.