A PALACE OF LIGHT & FREEDOM

A gypsy. A sparkle in her eye. Strength and beauty sculpted through adventure and adversity. Laura and her stunning light-filled spirit.

Her hair combed neatly adorned with a velvet headband, sitting in the sunlight of the hospital room.

As she shared her stories, her eyes lit-up and her hands gesticulated in this delicate way that made you feel that you were right there in the moment she recalled.

I asked her directly "What is it like to be unwell?"

She replied "It's terrible, darling".

Real, honest, vulnerable. That's it. It sucks to be sick. It's hard to know your life has an ending in the not-too-distance-future.

So, that moment is hard. The emotions attached to the words "It's terrible, darling" are challenging. Yet, if we have a chance to say it out loud, if someone is willing to hear us honestly express how we feel without turning away for fear of the reality of those emotions - that's when we are more able to next express our own hope, strength and courage.

Laura went on to talk about her love for her children. The things that help keep her spirit inspired. That money wasn't important "you can't take it with you". That the happiness of her family is what mattered most and she wanted to bring as much happiness as she could while she was still with us.

Laura inspired me. A gentle, unstoppable woman. Colour surrounded her presence. She was open, kind, aware. Doing her best with her humanness, which in turn had a resoudning impact on the people around her.