I was a volunteer at a baby orphanage where these sweet little faces just wanted to be held and fed and played with. Bonding happened immediately. Their big, brown eyes communicated more than words ever could. I have many wonderful memories of sitting in the grass holding them until they fell asleep.
laughter…they were not the little things, they were the only things.
I went to Africa to nurture and to love HIV babies – little did I know a different adventure awaited me.
It all started with a mosquito bite that lead to the deadliest strain of malaria. Just like that I found myself fighting for my life. Some things that were front and center faded into the background of my life and other things that I had never really paid much attention to, were all I could see. I sensed another world. Some might call this “the other side”. I was thinking of all the things I had done and all the things I still wanted to do.
I distinctly remember a moment when I communicated that I didn’t want to go yet.
I didn’t instantly heal. I had three years to really appreciate how wonderful it feels to be healthy. I didn’t instantly appreciate the experience. It took lots of time for me to make peace with that mosquito. I didn’t instantly understand that when we face death, we gain clarity about life.
Looking back, being sick, being weak and being knocked out of my saddle, gave me a tremendous gift…a desire to be fully alive every day.
I want to really feel the ocean waves.
I want to really taste the chocolate.
I want to really see my Sweetie’s smile.
I want to really hear the birds singing.
I want to REALLY live.
So when you see me enjoying life, remember that moment was conceived in my darkest hour.
What might be born out of your greatest adversities? What might you be looking back on in seven years with tears and a smile? The heights that we soar correspond to the depths we have traveled.
To steal Tim McGraw’s words, “Some day, I hope you get the chance to live like you were dyin’.”
Hungry for More, Monique Alvarez *Have you downloaded my free ebook, The Hungry Soul’s Manifesto? It’s all about remembering what’s important in life – creating purpose and passion, instead of just passing the time amassing stuff. p.s. If there are typos, spelling or grammar mistakes in this post don’t worry about. Those are the kinds of things I’ve worried about for FAR too long. It’s time to just get it out and who cares if it’s not perfect, it’s from the heart!