SOUTH AFRICA (October 2014) – Most often we find that from pain something beautiful comes to life. We find people doing extraordinary things for others even though they themselves are still heartbroken, maybe even still morning the passing away of someone dear. This sadness deep within them becomes almost like a source of energy which they use as a reserve to help others…they are unstoppable in their vigour with which they approach tasks of charity. They give to a point where that deep pain, the mourning, becomes more bearable. The onlookers are astounded by what is accomplished, but when you look closer you know that something significant happened to move someone to work so unselfishly to help others.
“There is no death, daughter. People die only when we forget them,’ my mother explained shortly before she left me. ‘If you can remember me, I will be with you always.” This was said by Isabel Allende in Eva Luna. And this is the place where many operate from…in honour of their loved ones they start giving. During the Pink Trees for Pauline drive we see that every day and it literally takes your breath away. All of us have a ‘Pauline’ or ‘Paul’ in our lives, someone who survived cancer or someone who lost the battle. To remember them, to honour them we want to do something significant to help others. Whether you wrap a tree, all the trees in your road, an obelisk, a truck or ask someone to drape pink material around a friend’s shoulders in a faraway town…to be part of the Pink Trees for Pauline drive is deeply emotional and immensely rewarding.
Frederick Buechner wrote in A Room Called Remember: Uncollected Pieces “But there is a deeper need yet, I think, and that is the need—not all the time, surely, but from time to time—to enter that still room within us all where the past lives on as a part of the present, where the dead are alive again, where we are most alive ourselves to turnings and to where our journeys have brought us. The name of the room is Remember—the room where with patience, with charity, with quietness of heart, we remember consciously to remember the lives we have lived.” A cancer survivor touched me deeply when she commented that to have survived and to be able to share her story is a privilege, a privilege some will never have. May we all speak at the top of our voices for those who are silent…How will you honour your ‘Pauline’ today?
For more information visit www.pinktrees.co.za and for daily updates visit the Pink Trees for Pauline Facebook page. To speak to Adri van Nieuwenhuizen you can contact her on 082 460 6386 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.