Being away from writing the last few days, helped me clear a lot of my thoughts. Being away from my routine, not needing to do my (usual) errands, gave me some time to sit back, think back, and feel 'blessed' for all that happened in the last year...
To break all traditions (normally Jan 1 mornings are a late wake-up), I went for my run this morning. Those 30-minutes helped me recap my whole 2014 and I had a lot to be thankful to - healthy kids, no panic calls from home (which is India), my 14 kg weight loss which has (probably) extended my life by 10 years, some special friendships, some lovely moments spent with family and a lot more....
We spent our last 10 days doing a family holiday in Australia (Sydney and the Blue Mountains). Both places were at different spectrums of life, pace and entertainment. If Sydney offered the zoos and the theme parks, the blue mountains gave us the treks, the bush walks, a home to live in, and some quiet time as a family. Strangely i enjoyed the latter more. Even my elder daughter and 12-year old nephew admitted that this pace is always welcome for a few days every year.
We met and talked to a lot of people during our trip. Zoo keepers, my nephew's talks with his team leader while doing the famous 'bridge climb' on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Emmanuel- our private boat operator around the Sydney Harbour and the numerous taxi drivers in both Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
I can strangely never forget one such conversation. A strange coincidence but we bumped into the 'same' taxi driver over 2 days. And it happened a few times with a few other cab drivers as well.
Of course he and we got more chatty the second time around. He was intrigued about our life in Singapore. I was a bit intrigued seeing a pic of his on the taxi window. He looked far leaner and younger. We questioned him about that. I was more curious to know if he had put on all that weight in one year??? Without any hesitation, he narrated an incident that occurred 12 months ago. The impact was for now lifetime (unless a miracle happens).
To mention briefly, he got pricked by a syringe that was in a customer's bag. He only lent his hand out to help her not knowing what was in store was disastrous. What followed was unbelievable or can simply be put as his destiny. He was diagnosed with Hepatitis C and is now on a lifelong medication. More than the medication, he is restricted to kiss his kids or hug them, the kids cannot touch his personal kit ( like toothbrush, shaving kit etc). He was more pained telling us about the latter than his medication that has its own side effects! Tough! But he was smiling while narrating the story and I had goosebumps!
Our 15 minute taxi ride seemed much longer. He himself was shocked that he told us all this. We exchanged names, he was even very keen to drive us to the airport the next morning... we surely found a friend in him. Troy , as I chatted with you that day, i knew i was going to pen this talk. I have no way to get in touch with you, but I do hope and pray that all this is behind you soon and you can hug and love your kids the way u always did! Seeing your spirit, I pray that I get half your courage in any tough situation.
And while I ended my run, I only said a BIG Thank You to 2014!