The ability to recover or return to normal after experiencing difficulties.

Speaking with friends and acquaintances on the sideline earlier this morning as we waited for our kids to play their football match,  the general feeling was that at every news report there was even more despair and horror being reported on from around the World this past week.

Like so many I could only think of the devastation and horror that has visited so many individuals, families, friends and all the ancillary services that bore witness and strained to minimise the suffering and despair experienced for those unfortunate casualties in the aftermath of the Manchester bombing. There are many more experienced and articulate writers than me who can succinctly describe yet another desperate act of sheer mindless terrorism. I have no words of comfort to offer, only solidarity with the people of Manchester during this time. Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident as there are acts of terror happening everyday in other parts of the World.

This profound sadness I am experiencing for the lost lives and futures of twenty two human souls in Manchester was compounded by this book I read last week.

FullSizeRender 7.jpgWhen it was first published last year I read a review in the newspaper and was intrigued by it and its content. It is a harrowing and heartbreaking account of a successful neurosurgeon at the pinnacle of his career being diagnosed with terminal cancer and how he sought to adjust and adapt to this major upheaval and the obliteration of all his hopes, dreams and potential. I remember thinking at the time that I was not ready to read it and even now its content is sometimes difficult to read. He writes so beautifully and there are phrases that linger with you afterwards. It is a book that needs more than one reading to fully understand and appreciate its true meaning.

How the human soul is tested and retested again and again with inconceivable tragedies  and tragic events and yet, resilience seems to surge forth and slowly, painfully we move forward again and again, because in the end if we don’t we are vulnerable and with that vulnerability comes despair. Look at the humane acts of kindness that the citizens of Manchester are experiencing from total strangers. The book describes moments of extreme happiness even when struggling with the author’s illness. That is the true beauty of the human condition. We are adaptable, buoyant, irrepressible, strong, tough, unstoppable. Many words, quite powerful when repeated one after another, could become a mantra for those who strive to cope with whatever event, illness, catastrophe or accident takes over their lives.


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