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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Given To or Taken From?

Today, I understood something in such a different way, thanks to my dear friend Chele.

We were emailing a little about relationships and the like and Chele was in my life when, earlier this year, I lost someone so dear, so precious to me. Someone I loved. Today she said to me:

"There is a purpose for everything under the sun..we may not know what they are..but they have a reason and someday we will understand why..what happened to you was terribly sad and heartbreaking but for some reason James was put in your path..or maybe..Fiona.. YOU were put in his..to make his last time here..the best it could be..so that he could leave this world knowing real love. Thats what I think."

James and I had been friends for the longest time, online friends, telephone chat friends, for about five years when things changed between us. I'd just extricated myself from a two-year relationship and he was in the throes of making his own changes. Over the space of about six months we grew closer and closer together, we made plans for our future. In February, I travelled to Canada to spend some time with him. We were going to be together in June.

A month later he was in hospital for bypass surgery. It was supposed to be routine, well as routine as that can ever be. Over the phone, he comforted me, assured me there was nothing to worry about, after all we had so much to look forward to. "Just a little bump in the road", he would say to me.

I spoke to him only hours before he was to go into surgery. There I am in tears and he's making me smile. Describing to me, the beautiful view from the hospital window, of the mountains around Vancouver, of the water. Making me laugh with stories about his ward-mates, and telling me about the kindnesses of his nurses and doctors. That is just how James was, a wonderful, caring, warm, sensitive, beautiful man.

He came out of surgery into post-op care and the next day he coded. They revived him, he coded again and they got him back again. But not a third time. He was gone. Gone forever, gone from my then and gone from my future. Just suddenly gone. At 45. I never even got to hear his voice again. How I grieved for him, how I ached at the loss. How I cursed the gods for taking him from me. I was numb so deep inside.

And all this time I've been thinking, he was taken from me. But what Chele pointed out to me today is this. Maybe he wasn't taken from me, perhaps it was I who was given to him when he needed me. And because of that, it all seems so different. I can smile when I think of him now, not weep as much.

James wasn't taken from me when I needed him most, I was given to him when he needed me most. I was there in his life because he needed to know love, real love, before he left us. And I was there to give him that love and to let him feel loved.

Suddenly it all makes sense. Because for all these months I've been thinking of it as so totally senseless that I lost him. And now, instead, I understand why he found me.

Thank you Chele.

Update: where I spoke of James first.


Miranda said...

Wow, *hugs* Yes I believe there is a reason someone is brought into our life. I cant even phathom what you went through. Long distance relationships are hard enough without having to go through sickenss. I just remember how my g/f was when I had my stroke. She was in tears, being so far away and not being able to help. I tried to reassure her as much as I could. *hugs* again, Im sorry for your loss.

DG said...

Sounds like to me your gifts are truly amazing.

chele said...

*hugs* No need to thank me.I'm just happy to know your smiling and feeling some peace now. What more could I ask for!

Steve said...

"Given to"... not ever "taken from," Fiona.

What a special gift!!! :)

The gift is in the giving... and the sharing... how wonderful that you both had so much to share, in the time that you could share!!!

Fill each moment that you can, with this rare gift, honey!

Emily said...

A very beautiful way of looking at it.

I'm so sorry for your loss

Fiona said...

Oh Miranda, it is so tough I know, I read your blog and feel how hard it is for you. I truly can empathise. And thank you so much for your words.

DG I think the amazing thing is the gifts I receive from others, they never fail to just truly knock my socks off *S*

My dear Chele...what more can be said between us *S*

Steve, I've always been something of a giver, it's much harder for me to take...and receive. I'm still learning how to do that *S*

Emily thank you...I really am loving your blog by the way!!!

Anonymous said...

Fiona -
I was reading this post in a crowded airport terminal - and everything went quiet around me as a I red this, and the hair stood on end on my arms.
I am so sorry for your loss and for your grief.
And I am so amazed at the simple truth of your new outlook.
Chele is right.

I'll keep that understanding with me for when I need it too.

And I know, I *know*, God has someone on his way to you, to be same angel for you that you have been for other. for James. AND even for me :-) .

Fiona said...

D, it was definitely an 'AH HA' moment for me. And I do feel more at peace. My understanding has deepened.

James was an old soul and I know he'll be back. And whoever is fortunate to meet him then, will be so very lucky indeed.

freebird said...

That was so tragic, beautiful and uplifting all at once. Everyone should read this in case they need it one day.

Fiona said...

Freebird, I was really blessed to have had James in my life, albeit for a short time.

Musician, song writer, photographer, he touched the heart of everyone he met.

Sunny Delight said...

she's right, you were his gift.
a very wise woman.

Fiona said...

That Chele is ..... indeed so!!


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