I just went on a glorious holiday to Mozambique with a group of friends and our families. On the last night we went around the table and everyone had to list the best part of their time away. The responses fascinated me. The lawyer said; “The special time we spent cooking together.” The doctor said he loved that he didn’t wear shoes for over a week. An introvert said, “We never stopped laughing.” A real estate owner and manager said that she loved going down the slide (and this was a slip-n’-slide made by some locals, not very different from the ones our parents hooked up to the hose pipe before the fun-police stopped them in the 80’s). My husband said, his favourite time was that very moment: being present, being at that table, right there and then.

Not one person mentioned anything money can buy. Not one person mentioned anything that could be achieved without community, relationship, fellowship and love. (I suppose one can be barefoot anywhere, but in this context, you get why he loved the freedom of not being confined to the status and demands of his profession and that he loved just knowing that he is so unconditionally loved that wardrobe does not matter).

Robin Sharma said “The business of business is relationships; the business of life is human connection.”

This is what we see at the Recovery Lodge in every room, every day. We see it in those beautiful, fragile moments when a daughter comes to spend every evening with her dad, even though she is exhausted, because she knows the cancer is spreading faster than we hoped. We see it in the toddler curled up under his dad’s arm, being careful not to touch his shattered leg, or when a wife brings her husband a good biryani, because she knows he misses her cooking. It is evident when children fly in from all over the world, to sit with their mom after a knee replacement. Some daughters will endure awful Andre Rui concerts on TV so that they can spend time with a parent who no longer interacts, and at other times, guests watch their grown grandkids singing Tina Turner out of tune because they know she loves it. Today, a husband snuck in his wife’s two jack russells for a sneaky visit because he knew it would make her happy.

This is our wealth: the relationships that will carry us through the hard times, the relationships that will double the joy of recovery .

One of our holiday companions is a brave, legend of a woman. She survived cancer that, in theory, should have destroyed her. On the night we all had dinner she was ill and stayed in bed (the cancer is gone, but some issues linger). Before I went to bed I popped into her room and we chatted about this very conversation. I asked her what her favourite part of the holiday was. She said, “All of us, being together”.

I agree with her so much.

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