I learned so many things from Rowan when he was here with us, but I have learned so much more from him since he passed. I continue to be taught by him – something that amazes me every day.
When he was here; an everyday influence on my life, he taught me to remember and enjoy the simple things and not to take them for granted. He got excited about food. He rushed and grabbed the camera to capture the image of a meal that he knew, without a doubt, he was going to enjoy. He would scamper around the supermarket with an enthusiasm which was a delight to see. To him, a visit to the supermarket wasn’t pure drudgery; an evil, expensive necessity. It was a pleasurable, exhilarating outing – one that held great promise of treats and taste explosions and chocolate milkshakes! He never outgrew that excitement.
If you went out with Rowie for the day, you would never get the sulks and the grumps that happen with so many children. He would find things to laugh at wherever we went; exuberant laughter, but not cruel or derisive laughter. He was persistent. If he felt you weren’t enjoying the experience as you should, he would redouble his efforts to make you happy. You couldn’t stay miserable with him around – he had a certain knack of bringing the inner child out in everyone. Eight years between Francis and Rowan could have been a chasm – it wasn’t. Rowie managed Francis with an expertise greater than his years! His older brother was putty in his fingers. He could always get a smile from him. He could turn the worst mood into mirth. We were meant to dance to music – according to Rowie anyway! He was forever bursting into action; arms flying, legs moving in an awesome parody of some character he had seen on television. He captured the essence, eccentricity, with perfect comedic timing.
I think what I am trying to say is that we all need to take responsibility for our own happiness. Rowan grabbed at enjoyment in whatever he did (apart from cricket). He turned the most mundane day into an extraordinary one.
He started his day with a 10 minute shower, no more, no less. It was only after he died that we found his “shower music” on his IPad! Exactly 10 minutes of lively, rhythmic music simply entitled – “Rowan’s Shower Music”. I wondered how he timed his morning ablutions! I wondered why the IPad accompanied him to the bathroom every morning! What a way to start the day though – singing and dancing your way through the first minutes of your day increases your vibration ten-fold – can’t help but have a doozy of a day following that!
Rowan did everything wholeheartedly (except for the possible exception of school work………)!
He enjoyed people. He loved meeting new people and was expert at making people feel comfortable in his company. His ex-boss described him to me the other day as having a “charisma” unusual in someone so young. His happiness was totally self-inflicted! Maybe he knew that he wasn’t going to be here for the long-haul so maybe he thought that he would pack as much fun and happiness into his short life as he possibly could?
I had no real direction before Rowan died. After I moved to Owaka, I worked short-term contracts because I didn’t really want to commit to anything long-term. I had no real passion about anything I did. I had lost the passion that gets you up in the morning. For the first time in a very long time I didn’t really enjoy working at all! The fun of it had kind of tarnished. Rowan taught me passion again. He indirectly taught me my life purpose. He made available to me ways to offer comfort to other people. He has introduced me to people with like-minds who have amazing stories of their own to tell.
The days when I lumber out of bed, complaining about the cold, complaining about the aches and pains, grumbling at the cats for leaving something squishy for me to tread in – these are the days when what follows can only be described as total train-wreck misery! They get progressively worse as the hours pass; they compound my unhappiness and I suffer for the whole of the day.
The days when I hop out of bed with an eager anticipation and a smile on my face; those days are the ones that hold magic and serendipitous meetings and phenomena that are wonder-full! These are the days that I take responsibility – I own them! I consciously make the choice to be happy. These are the days when I set myself up for fun, laughter, joy, pleasure. Well here’s a thought – I might even borrow the IPad and make a ten minute “Sue’s Shower Music”……………….