“Looking forward, I will not wish time move faster. I will not cry over a bad day at work, or a bad hair cut.
“Looking forward, I will smile when family call during my favourite show – for I have a family.
“And nothing will matter more than life and love.”
These were the words I told myself, the day I found out my mother would not lose her life to cancer…
It’s amazing how one day, one moment in time, can change your life – and how you view it.
It was more than five years ago now, but I remember that moment as though it were yesterday.
I was at work when my phone rang that afternoon. I answered, using a silly voice, seeing “Dad” on the caller ID.
My mother’s test results were due that day, and I had been meaning to call. They wouldn’t be anything serious though – they never were.
Looking forward, I won’t be so naïve.
The diagnosis was cancer – and I was overwhelmed by an all encompassing feeling of despair.
The following two weeks seemed an eternity as my family clung together, drawing on strength we didn’t know we had, waiting for the outcome.
Over the next 14 days, my world changed, and so did my perspective on life. Things that seemed important, became irrelevant.
My job, my car, my house, my income – I’d have gladly lost them all, as long as I didn’t lose my mum.
And as I thought about the future, the things I had planned, my hopes and dreams – everything had changed.
Looking forward, it didn’t matter if my wedding dress got dirty or if the speeches were too long. It mattered that my mother was with me on my special day.
Looking forward, it didn’t matter how quickly my babies slept through the night. It mattered that they experience the special love of their nanna.
Looking forward, it didn’t matter if my home was large or luxurious. It mattered that my mum could stop in for a cup of tea.
And then the day finally arrived, and we received the news that my mum was cancer free.
At that moment I promised myself I would never forget what really mattered.
Looking forward, I will appreciate how lucky I am.
Looking forward, I would thank God every day for the love and friendship I share with my family.
I wouldn’t lose sleep over bad weather, Sunday drivers or being short-changed.
Nor would I cry about a dent in the car, a parking fine or a grumpy stranger.
Instead, I would remember how I felt the day I faced losing a loved one, and I’d smile.
Because my mum was there as my dad walked me down the isle.
She shares a special connection with my baby boy; and she often stops in for a cup of tea.
Looking forward, I will never take these moments for granted.
I will cherish my family, and nothing will be more important than their health and happiness.
What is the moment that changed your life?
Nicole Madigan-Everest is a freelance writer, journalist and mother of two. Having previously worked as a newspaper journalist at News Ltd and a television reporter and presenter with Channel Nine, Nicole now writes for numerous national magazines and newspapers and is the full-time mother.