The real gift of Valentine’s Day

I believe more than once and more than one person avowed time is the most precious gift we have. I think it does not matter whether it goes fast or slow. Yesterday, today and tomorrow do not exist; what does live within us is the moment in time, which follows no theory or law of science.

 

Once upon a time…

I want to tell you my story:

Close your eyes.

Now imagine a little blue-eyed girl with a younger brother, an older sister and a mother and father who fell in love when they were only fifteen years old. They lived in a beautiful mansion far from the city. For twenty-one years it was the best time of their lives. In other words, it all seemed perfect.

Yet, as we all know, perfection seizes to be and fairy tales remain tales.

There comes a time when the world gets quiet. When a father tells you he is sick, afflicted by a terminal illness, the only thing left is the sound of your heart beating unblemished fear.

At the age of twenty-one years old, I chose that the rest of my moments were dedicated to my father’s last breaths. I woke up every morning to make sure my father would have the right portion of breakfast to sustain the medicines that came right after. I spent the days with him. Some days at the hospital, and those were the grey ones. Other days were spent in long walks and conversations. So many times I heard him talk about his memories, of when he used to travel for work. He fell in love with Paris; hence he always hoped to go back there one day. I wanted that day to come for him yet every time I was ready to organise the trip for him either the therapy made him sick, the cancer left him with no strength or the bones on his back were always more evident.

One night when I was sleeping on the couch next to my father, he could not breathe. At three in the morning I took him outside on the front porch so he could get some fresh air. I had to pull him from the wheelchair since he was not able to walk, talk or eat any longer. He reached fifty-nine years old with only 46 kilograms to keep him alive. I stayed next to him until sunrise. No words were spoken; it was one of those moments of affinity between a father and a daughter. Once the sun returned for a new day, I knew my father would not have so many of those anymore. I started thinking of all the things I still should have done with him. We had to go to so many U2 concerts. We still had so many places to discover. He had to walk me down the aisle. He had to see me become a mom, meet my children. We had to sit on a deck and smoke a cigarette together. I had to see him grow old. But first of all, I had to bring him to Paris.

In the here and now

All I know today is every moment spent with my father annulled any sense of time. And when the clock makes no sound, only then you realise there is no other place you would rather be. This is the greatest gift in life.

The gift of yourself to others

I don’t usually celebrate St. Valentine’s Day because every day is a good day to spread love. Nonetheless, I know some of you cannot wait for this day to show up. So this is my suggestion to you: stand next to your loved ones, or lie down beside them, listen to their desires. Wherever they want to go or whatever they want to do, make it possible for them since you still have the time that I did not. That gift, that moment of pure joy will be for the both of you the definition of bliss. That moment, time will not forget.

 

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