Bucket list of a 15 year old

Post written by Suraj Shah.

Alice is a 15 year old with terminal cancer.

On her blog titled Alice’s Bucket List, she writes: “I’ve been fighting cancer for almost 4 years and now I know that the cancer is gaining on me and it doesn’t look like I’m going to win this one 🙁 I’m hoping to write in here as much as I can and I’m also going to show my bucket list which I’m trying to get done before I have to go. Hopefully, I’ll update as I tick each one.”

Alice has very much faced the fact that she may not be around for much longer. Her deteriorating health has already restricted her doing so much, but that still doesn’t stop her from writing out a list of all things she wants to do before she goes.

Such a brave young woman to recognise where she is at, what is likely to come, and what to do about it. Do take a look at Alice’s Bucket List, and see if there is something there that you could help cross off her list.

Whilst you’re there, consider writing your own list. What’s most important for you in your life? Where do you want to go? Why? Who do you want to meet? Why? What do you want to do? Why? Be sure to get to the why. Don’t miss out on the why. Get to the heart of why you want to do what is on your list. Align yourself with the core reason.

If you like, share some items from your list, and your ‘why’ in the comments below.

(Photo courtesy of Alice Pyne)

Reacting to the news of a teacher dying

Post written by Suraj Shah.

If you heard that a teacher you admire has just died, how would you react?

When I was studying for my GCSEs, I was struggling with physics. Fortunately, mum had hired a private tutor to help me align with the subject better.

Mr Wynston, an admired physics tutor

Mr Wynston would come to our home every single Tuesday evening and would help me to understand the past week’s topic. He would only charge for an hour, but would leave only after he was positive that I clearly understood the topic that we had planned to work on that week.

Every week, the wide-built Mr Wynston would arrive in his tiny Nissan Micra, and would pop a mint into his mouth as soon as he stepped in the front door. During our sessions he would always write with a pencil and would press so hard that he almost engraved the dining table with physics formulae! I thought that was just his style, but it turns out that he was probably struggling to write. I really admired Mr Wynston for the way he taught and the care he took with me. He was firm, but kind.

Getting the news

Close to the date of my exams, mum got a call from Mrs Wynston. Now Mr Wynston’s wife would never normally call us. Once mum got off the phone, she shared the news with me that Mr Wynston had been battling with cancer for a long time, although we didn’t know it, and he had passed away.

Confused reaction

As soon as mum told me this, a smile shot across my face, compounded with a deep feeling of guilt (for smiling) and confusion about how to react to the news. I felt sad and frustrated at not knowing what I felt about it, and my inappropriate expression. Even mum looked shocked at the way I was reacting to it.

This was probably one of my earliest memories of learning about someone I knew personally being alive one moment and dead the next.

I recall there have been other times when I have received sad news in my life. Not knowing how to react, I have expressed an inappropriate smile. Has that ever happened to you?

Death becomes easier to deal with

As we grow up, death seems to be easier to react to. We hear about it more. We expect it more. We know that where there is birth and life, death is certainly inevitable. Somehow that makes it easier to deal with.

(Photo courtesy of kpwerker)

Would you notice?

Poem written by Suraj Shah.

Time to wake up from this slumber,
Time to put my mundane desires to the side…

If I were to go today, would you notice me missing?
If I were to stay today, would you notice me here?
Doing much to keep me happy,
Running far away from fear.

Working hard for temporary pleasures,
Forgetting to focus on the core,
Ignoring the needs of others,
Is it only me that I adore?

Time to wake up from this slumber,
Time to put my mundane desires to the side,
Got to be brave and fight my inner enemies,
Got to no longer choose to hide.

If I were to go today, would you notice me missing?
If I were to stay today, would you notice me here?
Turn my attention now towards my true self,
Turn my attention towards what’s near.

If I were to go today, would you notice me missing?

Listen to the poem "Would you notice?"

(Photo courtesy of DieselDemon)