Turning points in life, never ignore just embrace them!

We all have a moment in our lives when something happens and it changes the course of our lives.

Sometimes it’s by choice like changing a job, moving from one city to another. Sometimes things happen which we have no control over, like death or terminal illness We all go through that time when we look back and say that “everything changed after that moment!”

There are moments when it can be a good thing that causes a turn in life events or a terrible thing which results in a positive change. The latter is the one I can relate to at this present time in my life.

On Monday I had a major health scare, which resulted in me spending a week in hospital. One moment I thought I caught a bad bug, the next moment I was in High Care Cardiac Unit. As bad as it could have been it made me realise that this terrible event brought about something good. I was driven to casualty by my son who refused to listen to the “if’s” or “but’s”.

I normally put my health on hold and say “if I feel the same tomorrow then I will go” or “but what if its nothing and we sit 3 hours being totally unproductive?”

Thankfully he was adamant and I was too exhausted to argue; my usual stubborn self was quite subdued. I kept thinking all that time in hospital. What if I died? These word really got the cogs turning in my head. Do we really have to wait for something to happen, before we can appreciate what we have?

Do we have to wait until something goes wrong, before we make that turn?

For me the last week reinforced what I already knew, yet somehow it all fell on the wayside, because “Life happens!” somehow the universe needed to remind me. Life can change in an instant. So we should never take anything for granted today, or any other day. If you’re not living an authentic life, then you are not being true to yourself.
I am deeply grateful for everything in my life; even the not so good parts.

My health is under the microscope right now, it could have been far worse, so I am grateful that I am alive to rectify what needs to change. My child is healthy. I have the love of family and friends. I am grateful we don’t have major issues. As for the minor ones, we take them in our stride. I am simply blessed to be alive to appreciate the sound of the birds chirping outside my window. From the amazing happenings to downright gut wrenching happenings in life, all happen for a reason.

I met a Sister in the Cardiac Unit who left an indelible impression on me. She had just finished her night duty and was handing over to the day unit. She collapsed as she was ending her shift. She was rushed to the Trauma Unit, went through 6 hour open heart surgery, and lives to tell the tale. Each person you meet, each situation will make you stop and relook at your life. There is a purpose to this, and many would just shrug it off. I am of the firm belief that our Creator, sends these messages because we need to change something, a turning point is required, we become so hard headed we ignore it, so we need a jolt now and again.

When I was all alone in the radiology lab, with iodine filling into the veins in my body, every inch of you is filled with this weird sensation, I kept making deals with my Creator, I promise to take care of myself, I promise not stress so much, please heal me and let nothing be seriously wrong with me …… I felt as though the results were going to be bad, and at that point nothing else mattered; not my bank account, not work, not even the laundry which I knew was stacking up.

I kept thinking I want to see my son marry, damn I even had an idea of the dress I want to wear and the colour. I want to spend time with my daughter who will become part of our home. I want to live to see my grandkids. At that point when all else disappeared and it was just the CT Machine and I, challenging me as to what my next move would be. It was a surreal but eye-opening experience.

Now when I wake up in the morning, I remind myself of those promised I truly plan to keep my promises, and somehow strike the balance doing the best I can without “killing myself”, stress is part of life but not allowing it to defeat me.

My turning point came at a huge cost. Thankfully the blood clot did not reach my heart, and God Willing, I am spared long enough to wear that dress, and tell me grandkids about that turning point in my life!

About Saffiya Ismail

Born in Pietermaritzburg, she now resides in Johannesburg and says her most important role in life is being a mother. Saffiya is a freelance writer. A contributing author in “Riding the Samoosa Express” (Anthology launched 21st March 2015). With a second chapter submitted for the next book, Saffiya says her passion is writing.

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