So you might have noticed its been a little quiet here on secondsister.com for the last few months. It started with me breaking both of my wrists last September which severely slowed me down for a few weeks (and which you can read about here and here). Then in the lead up to Christmas I lost my darling mum to her long battle with cancer.
While it is still too soon and painful to write about such a huge loss and the amazing friends and family who stepped up and helped us through it, what I would like to share is the little rays of light that shone through in difficult times.
One of those rays of light came in the form of the wonderful people and space at Sum of Us studio in Melbourne. Sum of Us is a wellness centre offering pilates, yoga, meditation, physiotherapy, myotherapy, podiatry, massage and, most importantly, amazing coffee.
Mum spent her last few weeks in an excellent palliative care centre just a few doors down from Sum of Us. As her last outing, before her decline kept her bed-ridden, my three sisters and I took her for a coffee at the cafe at Sum of Us – Mum always was a coffee fiend and coffee snob.
What we discovered at the Sum of Us was not just excellent coffee (mum approved), but some very special people in the most peaceful, zen-like and stylish space. When we took Mum in for her last ever coffee, the staff at Sum of Us were amazing. Mum, in her wheelchair, was quite obviously seriously unwell and very weak, but this did not phase the wonderful girls at Sum of Us, who treated her with such positivity, respect and kindness, showing us to the best spot out in the leafy, sunny courtyard to enjoy a few moments of peace and tranquility with a fabulous coffee.
As the days passed, and we witnessed the agonising decline of Mum’s health in palliative care, the toll it took on us emotionally was huge. However, we would take time out from our bedside vigil to enjoy a reviving coffee and a salad at the Sum of Us. I booked myself in and had the most amazing remedial massage treatment there, which re-invigorated me entirely. My sisters also had treatments and pilates just to take a break from the painful process of seeing mum slowly slip away from us, and to re-energise.
Maybe all of that doesn’t sound like much to you. But what made all the difference at Sum of Us was the small gestures of kindness and caring from everyone there that really made such a difference and which we will remember forever. From giving us salads to take home to make sure we were eating well, to the kindness and positive energy that seems to radiate from each one of the gorgeous staff, there was something pretty amazing about this place.
So when you are going though hard times, my advice to you is to find those special people and places that make a difference. Take the time to look after yourself, whether it is a healthy meal, remedial massage, a yoga class or even just a bloody good coffee in a peaceful space. Its those little rays of light that shine through in difficult times that make you strong enough to deal with whatever is thrown at you. Its those rays of light that will stay with you long after the hard times pass.