It was a Thursday night very hot night, I remember I cancelled my boxing class at the gym because it was stinking hot, then I got a phone call from my mum crying, screaming and mumbling, I couldn’t hear properly and told her to relax and she said that tonight they were turning my cousins machine off. At first my heart sunk and I thought to myself “ What the hell is going on its only been a month since my uncle passed away and only 6 months since I last spoke to my cousin and how he called me so much told me he loved what I was doing and that he wanted to come down train and get his life sorted. At first I was angry and sad because I thought far out if only I had pushed him harder to come and see me. He called me week in and week out for months saying he was coming in to see me and unfortunately didn’t make it. While I was thinking all these thoughts my older brother had called me and said lets go get mum and go to the hospital.
We had visited before during this time and he was unconscious but this time was very very different. I was rushing through the hospital doors with mum wrapped around my arm and she was shaking, panicking and breathing very heavily to the point I thought she was going to have a panic attack. We went through the ICU and family and friends were all surrounded around my cousins bed, so many machines that it was very squashed to be inside. We came in hugged everyone and the room was silent all you could hear was machines beeping, heavy breathing and people crying and weeping. This was real I was staring at him blanked not feeling a thing but remembering the last time I had an in depth talk to him and he had poured his heart out to me about his situation and I thought DAMN!
My family started praying and saying their last goodbyes, kissing, hugging and giving him his last blessings while crying. I grabbed my cousin’s hand and silently promised him that I would continue what I was doing and that I would never forget what he said to me on our last phone call.
As we left I had Goosebumps all over; I was numb from emotions and very shocked. Mum was grabbing onto my arm crying- inconsolable, as was all the family and close friends around. Soon after we left they turned off his machine with his family and a close friend by his side. That night while we waiting in the waiting room had me thinking about life so much. My cousin- one of the brothers of the cousin that passed away came soon after through the door had broken down and fell to the floor. I remember mum screaming and I ran to pick him up literally from the floor. Life had now changed forever for my family. The effects rippled through every person my cousin’s life touched, his brothers, his mother, his father, his kids, his cousins and friends and loved ones- would never be the same.
Life is precious. Tell your family and friends you love them and cherish all your moments because you never know when it will be the last time you are able to.
Cherish the good times, cherish the laughs the hugs the conversations, the smiles and have eternal gratitude for those you hold dear in your life.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the small things in life, so please, take a moment to step back and remember, you are loved, there is so much love around you, the people in your life are a gift and never ever take them for granted.
At the end what really matters is how deeply you connected with your loved ones and the memories you share together.
R.I.P Cuz – Kevin Paris you will be missed.
Glenn Munso – Youth YOU Program