Mountaineering is all about going up, and down mountains, and isn’t that a reflection of life in general!
There are the highs, and the lows…
As many of you will know I have been on a mission to climb amongst the world’s highest mountain peaks and this year I had two trips planned in Nepal. But isn’t it funny how priorities in your life can change!
Recently I wrote about my sister, Deb (Merle) and the illness she is courageously facing.
Well, I’m pleased to say that her treatment is progressing in line with expectations, but there are good days and not so good days.
But her spirit is amazing!
A couple of weeks back I was sitting on the couch, pondering life in general, as I am inclined to do, and realised that I no longer felt the compelling urge or need to head to Nepal this year, but I wanted to go touring the great Australian Outback with my family…
And yes, I’ve never needed any encouragement to get Out and About – my love of Australia and the Outback is almost as great as the love I share for my family, for Merle…
I know many of you have been “rooting” (that is the US expression isn’t it – makes me chuckle though! ) for me to get up the mountain and I appreciate the support, and who knows, the desire may return, but I have things that have far important to me as a person right now…
I know you will understand.
Hey, that doesn’t mean I can’t go climbing in the Blue Mountains, so there is still some scope for “More Dope on a Rope”.
But strewth, I love the Outback, so I have reset my website back to my other passion!
Courage is a very powerful word when you look behind its meaning…
“…to have courage is to have the ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation”.
The word courage has been casually discussed around our dinner table amongst family and close friends in the context of my journey to the mountains, a journey that one day will lead me towards the summit of Mount Everest, fulfilling the dream of a young boy who has always believed that anything is possible – just believe in that dream!
This week my sister Debbie, who is affectionately known to us as Merle, and I spoke about my journey and what it meant for her. Whilst she is an exceptionally talented musician and accomplished athlete it seems she never got that climbing and mountaineering gene.
And rest assured, I never got that musical gene. If they handed out awards for singing in the shower I’d still go home empty handed.
But as we spoke on the telephone tears rolled silently down my face…
Recently, Deb was diagnosed with cancer, a cancer that has taken a significant hold on her body in a relatively short period of time.
And here she was encouraging me to chase my dream, assuring me that she took great strength from my dream and my journey – and making me promise that no matter what happens to her that I must continue on my journey.
As we spoke she explained that the cancer that has infected her precious body is her own Mount Everest.
She reached out and said…
“Baz, take my hand and we will climb our own Mount Everest together, one step at a time, for that is the only way”.
Deb, Merle sent the following note to her many friends recently and I want to share it with you. I’m hopeful that it will inspire, inspire those who perhaps face their own Mount Everest…
Yes, courage is a very powerful word and I learnt its true meaning this week…
The Beginning of a New Chapter
I am beginning a very important journey. So much to achieve, new directions to take, challenges to overcome, happiness to be found….endless opportunities to grab hold of. A time to redefine, evolve and embrace life to the fullest.
With the love and support of my family and dear friends, long standing and new, it will hopefully be a celebration of the human spirit that lives within us all. I am blessed that I have today and the time to make each moment count… moments that we can reflect and smile upon. Moments of “BEING” whatever that may be and wherever it may takes us.
I will be taking each precious day at a time and endeavouring to seek all the happiness and joy each of them bring. I will be promoting and encouraging all who know me to do the same. My one wish and only wish is for everyone to not focus on the disease (that is the doctor’s job) it is what it is. Find the love, joy, precious “ididocic” (idiotic) moments filled with laughter and all the happiness in the world during this time. NOT EASY…CHALLENGES NEVER ARE…DEFINITELY DOABLE!!!!
I understand this is a big ask for all who stand on the perimeter of watching someone they love go through this. To me, it is counter-productive to dissect and try to analyse and make sense of this disease consuming my body. It would obscure the human spirit that defines ME as a person…I am most afraid of losing sight of who I am in all this. If you can help, it would be beneficial not only for me, but ALL of us, please participate however and in whatever way you can to… HELP ME…REMIND ME…REMEMBER AND ENHANCE THE MEMORIES!!! For after all, this chapter is NOT ALL ABOUT ME. It is about ALL of us and what we gain from this experience.
CONFRONTING…yes, very much so. If not confronted we have not the opportunity to overcome this.
SCARY…mmmm!!! I imagine it could be at times. I do believe, always have, that knowledge and sharing is powerful. The understanding gained and shared puts things in perspective and allows you to take away or minimise the “scariness” to some degree.
SAD….definitely, we will all feel it. Sadness is a positive emotion, I believe it shows how much we truly treasure, connect and love each other. It is an emotion to not hide…we cannot be BRAVE all the time, that would be counter-productive, and we would go insane. Release the tears, smile and begin again.
“IDIDOCIC” MOMENTS…Yes please, lots and lots of them!!! Also remember past “ididocic” experiences and share with everyone who will listen. Laugh, BIG belly laughs and rejoice!!!!
I am looking forward to the moments we will all share and I am truly blessed, humbled and consider myself the most fortunate person on this earth to have such beautiful people in my life. Thank you for being you and hold on…this journey is going to be a big one with lots of opportunities.