It’s been two weeks and I’m finally pulling myself out of the shell that has been keeping me safe.
This isn’t one of my usual posts about why sex is good for you or how to make your relationship better. This is a post about remembering what’s really important in life.
I actually met Ro through an online dating site. We clicked immediately, we already knew we had a lot in common from reading each other’s profiles. I’ve never met anyone like Ro.
Even from that first meeting, there was something about his humble, gentle nature that touched me deeply. He wasn’t like other guys I was used to dating. I don’t know if it was the years he’d already spent battling cancer or if that was just him – either way, he was different. And I liked it. Ultimately we didn’t end up dating for long – something about the chemistry just wasn’t quite there – we were much better suited to being close friends.
Spending time with Ro was always precious – something about who he was and how he was could always help me let go of ‘my shit’. You know, forget worrying about the little things, let go of my stress, see the beauty in slowing down and being quiet.
I felt like an idiot sometimes talking to him – drama about my latest relationship, work stress or decisions about where my life is going now that I’m pushing 30 – he didn’t have those worries. He didn’t have that luxury – when I met him at 27 he’d already been battling cancer for 7 years. And yet, he was always there for me – he actually delighted in listening to me, sharing, being close.
We haven’t spoken much over the past few months – I’m studying Masters full-time in addition to running my own business. I’ve let a lot of my relationships slip a little. I assume that my friends understand. I assume that they’ll be there when the study is finished or this ‘busy patch‘ settles down. I assumed Ro would just be there too. I assumed that on my next trip home, we could catch up and drink tea and talk about the beauty and the preciousness of life and smile and laugh.
I think of all the times now that I thought of him and didn’t pick up the phone because I was ‘too busy’. There is nothing I wouldn’t give right now for just one more of our chats.
Two weeks ago I got a message from Ro’s sister telling me he had passed away, peacefully, surrounded by his family.
I’m still not sure what to do with the grief that at times overwhelms me. What I do know is that I’m looking at life a little differently.
There is nothing more important in this world than the people we love. There is nothing that won’t wait when a friend needs us. There is nothing that can’t be put off to let someone know that we love them.
Remember what is important to you. And cherish those things.
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