A Truly Inspirational Tale.

a tranquil sunset with a tree in foreground

We all need inspiration in life, something to aim for, a reason to get out of bed in the morning to face the day. Whether we are starting a new career or launching our own business or even learning to play a musical instrument, there is almost always a catalyst or a trigger that motivates us to pursue these ambitions.

Even though this story is completely irrelevant to my personal goals, it inspires me because it shows me that we must NEVER give up on our dreams because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

The Future Is Unset

None of us really know what the future holds, yet we’re living in a world of anxiety and stress. Why worry over something you can’t control or change? You might as well accept what is and learn to cope with whatever eventuality comes your way.

This is a true story about a woman whose life and career was turned upside down unexpectedly. She had dedicated much of her adult life helping others and almost out of nowhere her health let her down.

Disabled persopn in wheelchair with a carer

Gill worked as a nurse in a residential hospital for the elderly. Many of these people were so frail they couldn’t feed or cloth themselves. This was her job, to take care of even their most basic tasks that we all take for granted. She did this for thirty years. One day out of the blue she started feeling unwell and became so ill that she was sent home from work.

After going through all kinds of medical procedures and tests she discovered she had rheumatoid arthritis and it was quite a severe variant. She would no longer be able to continue working as her job involved a lot of lifting. Within a week of feeling ill, her career was over. This meant a lot of stress and anxiety for her future. She was only 55 years old and had to retire early even though her mind was still very young.

Life Can Be An Ordeal

For the next ten years Gills health had deteriorated so much so that walking to the local shops had now become impossible. She had always been a very independent woman and to have this taken away from her was almost as unbearable as the arthritis itself.

Have you noticed how life always seems to kick us when we’re down?

At 65 Gill had a heart attack and it was very touch and go there for a while whether she would make it at all, but she fought it and was eventually released from hospital. Of course, she was now in new territory again. She was now diagnosed with not only the arthritis but also heart disease and high blood pressure. She went through months of more tests and medical treatment. Due to being bed ridden for so long after her heart attack, the arthritis became much worse. She’s now using a walking frame and struggles to walk 10 feet.

The Biggest Cause Of Death Is Retirement

I’m not even sure where I picked this saying up from but it makes sense: if we have a job or task to complete we’ll go right on living. But the moment we have nothing to do without lives, we no longer feel the need to go on living.

Now I’m NOT saying if you aren’t working or doing something constructive at this moment your life is worthless–on the contrary–what I AM saying is, there is always something that we can be doing or aim for no matter how bad things are, and that’s exactly what Gill did! She was told in no uncertain terms that she needed to get moving the best she can, get active and get living, as she had a lot more life left in her. That’s exactly what she did.

She never really did anything creative in her entire life, but always had an admiration for art, so she decided to try a local art class. It turned out that she had a real genuine talent. It picked her up, gave her a whole new lease in life and she is still attending art classes to this day, at 75. She struggles a lot due to her arthritis, constantly dropping her paint brush or pencils, but the folk at her classes are for kind and helpful to her.

At 68 she had to have both her knees replaced and after both operations she was on her feet the very next day. They have to do each knee separately due to the nature of the procedure, and within a few days she was back home.

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Comments (40)

  1. Larry gove

    Hey Jay
    Good story and I see where the message of your story is taking me.
    When life gives you lemons, we make Lemonade.
    Larry

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Absolutely Larry, I’m as guilty as anyone for making excuses, but we all have similar chances really but it’s how we use them.

      Reply
  2. Jackie

    Hello Jay,
    What an inspiring story, thank you.
    I believe in all of us there is an inner strength which can sometimes, be buried deep within us.
    Finding that reason to get out of bed can be something to latch on to.
    Take care
    Jackie

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Hi Jackie, thanks for stopping by & leaving a comment, it’s much appreciated 🙂

      Reply
  3. Ben

    Hi Jay,

    This is a wonderful post! Best wishes to you both, and I love your mother’s art. She is to be admired for persisting through the pain to do them.

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Thanks a lot Ben, I truly appreciate you dropping by to comment, best wishes 🙂

      Reply
  4. Richard

    Hi Jay

    Very refreshing website with great content,the world needs an injection of postivity.
    I have met so many challenges designing my own website but I find it rewarding when all the struggles have paid off. I would appreciate your feedback when you have time

    Wishing you every successs

    Richard

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Thanks for the kind words Richard, it’s much appreciated.

      Reply
  5. Gina Gonzalez

    Wonderful Jay! Your Mom’s pictures are beautiful. How fortunate you are to have one another. Thank you for this lovely post.

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Thanks a lot Gina, I put my heart into this one and appreciate your kind words.

      Reply
  6. Amber

    What a beautiful post Jay and what an inspiring, strong lady your mother is. I really felt your soul speak here, and you are definitely on the right path with this site…your writing is impeccable and I see a gift here and that is to help others through your word.

    Please pass on my best to your mother and I hope that you have shown her your post and the comments. She raised an amazing son and she is to be commended on that as well as her Art :o)

    Warmest Wishes, Amber

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Thank you so much, that really means a lot to me, it truly does. I’ll show my mother tomorrow as she is asleep now, it’s 4.40am here atm.

      Fondest regards 🙂

      Reply
  7. Lynne

    WOW Jay, this is a truly inspirational story. I was taken by surprise when you said Gill is your mom. She truly is an inspiration to us to carry on no matter what we are faced with. I am so sorry for her struggles, it must be very hard for you to watch your mom having to go through all that.

    Well done on looking after her and being her carer. I am sure she truly appreciates it that her son is caring for her.

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      ​Thanks for commenting Lynne, I had to do a slight edit of your comment, as you put daughter 😉 We all have our struggles in life, but I was really proud of her when she got back out there and kept going.

      Just in case you’re unaware, your gravatar is set up incorrectly.

      Reply
  8. admin

    Jay, you’re absolutely right about the biggest cause of death being retirement. My father died shortly after he retired. I see so many people collapse into a downward spiral of self-centered living when they retire and no longer have a “cause”. For what it’s worth, I think the key is to always be giving. We’re made to help others and if we keep that as our focus, we will live rich lives indeed. It sounds like your mother is able to give through her artwork. I think her pictures are great. Well done to her.

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Thanks a lot for your reply, and I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your father. I agree with your philosophy of “Always giving” it not only makes for a more rewarding life, but helps contribute to a friendlier society 🙂

      Reply
  9. Maarten

    Wow, a great, touching story with an enormous life lesson!
    We should indeed never give up, and always try to create goals in life. That striving is what keeps people alive.
    Without goals, there is no purpose anymore, just like any other living creature. If it has no purpose, it does.
    Nicely written story that I’m definitely going to share.
    Cheers

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Hi Maarten, thanks for taking the time to comment. As you can tell, this is very personal to me, but I felt if I can help a few pepople it’s worth sdharing.

      Reply
  10. Dillon

    I think life kicks us around when we’re down because a lot of our “friends and family ” suddenly don’t want to know. They think that if they don’t look then the problem will go away and they won’t have to change their life.

    I have found that people will offer sympathy and might help once with something but then the commitment side of helping kicks in with them and then you suddenly never hear from them again.

    My grandmother had lots of friends when she went downhill and for the last few months of her life I was the only one with her (out of ALL our family). Off course, when she passed away everybody came out of the woodwork for the will.

    Now, she was too ill to move for most of the day and so was bed-ridden for the majority of the time (we had a nurse that visited each day) but that didn’t stop her from keeping mentally active. The amount of puzzle books and novels that she when through in the last few months was crazy. I think she read more in that time than she had in her whole life! But she enjoyed it 🙂

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Hi Dillon, I hear you loud and clear my friend. Since I’ve been struggling dealing with this situation with my mother, my friends and family are AWOL. I appreciate you taking the time to comment, it’s nice to know that we’re not alone and that others are in similar predicaments and understand.

      Reply
  11. simon

    Wow yes it IS a very inspiring story just goes to show you that it is all in the mental approach to any difficulty we may face be it monitory or physical. hhmm. I think the site overall is great and I particularly liked the network marketing post it seemed so accurate an appraisal to me. Your site is superbly formatted and personally I think that you will go a very long way with it so great job indeed.

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Hello Simon, thanks for the kind words, it’s most appreciated. I have lots more planned for the site, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Best wishes in your endeavours 🙂

      Reply
  12. Milla

    There is a beautiful quote by Carolos Castaneda :
    ” We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”

    This is a truly inspirational story you have here, Jay
    Your mother is a warrior, she came out so strong despite her illness and you are a great person to give her so much support.
    What a wonderful paintings. Bless you boss
    warmest wishes,
    Milla

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Thanks ever so much Milla, I appreciate you taking the time to comment. My Mother doesn’t really think much of her art, but I’m very proud of her, that’s why I’m showing it off to the world.

      Reply
  13. Ana

    Thank you for posting this story and giving people hope. You are totally right, there is always something to look/work for. In my country we have a saying that goes “To stop, is to die”. I don’t know it’s the correct translation but I hope you get the meaning. If we can’t get our bodies to move, then we should stimulate our brains with whatever interests us. There should be no excuses, and people with a negative take on life normally let themselves go. Your mother is an example and inspiration to many people as she continues take pleasure in life even if in small things, and doesn’t live by the label of her disease. All the best to your mom!

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Hello Ana, thanks for the kind words, it’s greatly appreciated. Your saying “To stop, is to die” is correct. We all need to be active and productive in life.

      Reply
  14. Kunal

    Its a true inspirational tale indeed, there are things that we take for granted throughout our life, but when we loose them then we realise the true value of it, Your mother’s story motivates me to focus on my goals and work hard to achieve them. I wish your mother good luck with her Art’s work and I like your nature of helping your mother in tough times and still finding time to work on your life and goals. Wish you good luck

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Hello Kunal, that’s very kind of you. I wish you lots of luck and happiness in life. If you want something, you go for it my friend 🙂

      Reply
  15. Jovo

    I love the story you present here. You statement ‘the biggest cause of death is retirement’ is so true. I have seen it in a number of cases, and very recently in my wife’s family. People simply give up when they feel they have nothing left, and retirement is such a situation. So yes, your story about your mother is truly inspirational. I admire her pictures.

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Hello Jovo, thanks for stopping by. I’ll be showing my mother all these comments, it’ll give her a good boost.

      Reply
  16. Stu

    Wow a very inspirational story that brought a tear to my eye. I am finding this out as I go through life as well. Nothing worth having or doing comes easy. It takes a willingness to not give up even though sometimes it feels as though we should.

    Michael Jordan when asked “How are you so good?” He kind of got a little annoyed and said something along the lines of: “I don’t compare myself to anyone else BUT myself. I want to be the best version of me possible”

    What words to live by. Your mother is a shining example also and her work is beautiful! I’m an artist myself so I can really appreciate her style. Many times I try to find excuses not to do something, but lately I’ve been pushing myself.

    Anywho, a great article and very inspiring.. I will be bookmarking it.
    -Stu

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Thanks very much for the kind words Stu. This article is very close and personal to me, so it means a lot knowqing that others appreciate it.

      Reply
  17. Chris

    A really interesting article and as you put it a truly inspirational tale. I was especially taken aback by the section on The Biggest Cause Of Death Is Retirement. This seems such a sad term at the end of the day. I guess staying active is what keeps us young – so get out there and find something to do!

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Absolutely Chris, life is a gift. Live and enjoy it while you can 🙂

      Reply
  18. Jyl

    Good for your Mum for getting out and about and finding something she loves to devote her time to – she’s very good at art. I love the puppy 🙂
    My own Mum has become a little slow in getting about and generally, in her own house, just sits watching TV. But when she comes up to visit me she’s always out in the garden throwing tennis balls for my dogs. She starts off slowly then by the end of the weekend she’s practically jogging up and down the garden!! It just takes a little motivation sometimes 🙂

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Hi Jyl, my mum watches a lot of tv too, it saddens me a little when I know how talented she is. But she seems content.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Jay

      Reply
  19. Seviedean

    this post is just what the doctor ordered…I needed to hear this inspirational story…the only obstacles in my life are imagined and exist solely in my head…your Mother is proof that even with real obstacles you can still create value and meaning in life…thanks for sharing this post 🙂 and the art works are lovely as well, I wish I could create art at that level.

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Thanks a lot Seviedean, your kind words are greatly appreciated.

      Reply
  20. Paul

    Hi Jay,

    Thank you for sharing this story, which is clearly quite a personal matter. I was blown away by the pictures completed by your mother – such an inspiration.

    You are right about retirement being a big killer, the stats are freely available for people to see. I think we are all guilty sometimes of becoming complacent with our health and thinking that trivial problems are too big to surmount.

    Stories like this remind us that, although we may struggle with health ourselves, if we are not incapacitated we have everything to play for. And if we are struck by ill health there is always still hope.

    Great post – thank you 🙂

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Hi Paul, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I agree with the complacency part and I’m guilty myself, but fortunately became aware before it was too late.

      My mother is still doing her art, so she is a true fighter 🙂

      Reply

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