Once again, I turn to you random internet reader to get something off my chest. This relationship is starting to feel a little one-sided to me. I put this out there and basically dump my shit on your and that is it. I mean hopefully, you like what I write or find some value in my random ramblings.
I am literally sitting next to one of the most important men in my life while I write this, My Grandad. I wish I could say that we are enjoying a coffee (he always asks for warm milk with a shot of coffee on the side then pours in about a 3rd and leave the rest for me.) But not this time. I am in fact sitting in his hospital room at the hospital in Byron Bay. He has had his room moved today to a single room because he isn’t going home. He is in the last bed he will ever sleep in with a view out of the last window he will ever look out of. Fuck me this is hard to write. Even while I am typing and fighting back the tears he is reaching for his comb to brush his hair (another of his obsessions.)
I jumped on a plane today because I was told it was important I came and saw him. Basically, he wont last much longer. I have known for over 6 months that his prostate cancer had returned and this time there would be no beating it. But, to be honest, when I was told I needed to come I convinced myself it wouldn't really be that bad.
I was wrong.
I expected today to be a casual trip up to find out that things aren’t that bad and that we still have plenty of time. The truth of it hit me like a ton of bricks when I walked into his room and saw him. It got even worse when the palliative care nurse came in and said he wouldn't be going home.
So here I am, sitting next to him while he fidgets with is comb in a drug fuelled high that makes me think that if he had of been a drinker he would have been a funny bastard.
But I am not going to just write about the inner struggles of being part of my family. What I have realised today is that time is precious. We think we have so much of it but in reality we do until we don't. I have avoided coming to see him these last few months mostly to help myself ‘accept’ that he will be leaving me soon but also because I have kept telling myself that I have time.
Let me put this into another example. How many times have you heard people say they will start their diet tomorrow or next week or another time? Always some vague or distant time in the future? I wonder how many of those people really do it. I wonder what actual percentage of people manage to make time for that goal, that run, that diet, whatever that thing is. I am guessing not as many as you would hope.
I was that guy for a long time. I was always waiting to start the next diet or exercise regime or thing that would definitely work. Until it actually worked for me. I wish I could go back and tell myself “hey! Try this crazy thing called a triathlon” when I was much much younger. But I cannot. Just like I cannot rewind the past 32 years of my life and relive every single moment with my Grandad, no matter how much I want to write now. Instead, I can take the lessons I have learned along the way and try and help you, random internet reader, to not make the same mistakes that I have.
Life is short, don't stress the small stuff. Tell those people you care about that you love them. Don't leave the diet until tomorrow. Don’t let future you worry about anything. Don’t keep waiting for a future time where everything is finally better.
Life is short. It might seem like a long hard journey but it will eventually come to an end. We cannot (not really) control how long or short it is. But what we can do is be present. Live in the now. Make the most of this incredible, random, inexplicable mistake that is life because we only get one of them.
I am going to finish this rather sombre post by saying that is exactly what I am about to do. I know I only have hours left with this incredible man and I intend to make the most of every one of them.
Make the most of what you have and remember to TRI!
I lost 50kgs though triathlon and completed the 2016 70.3 World Championships. Aiming to hit 4:05 for a 70.3, the same time it took me to complete my first Olympic Distance Triathlon. I want to bring as many new people to the sport as possible. Whether you are fit and active or want to make positive changes to your life.