Hi, my name is Jim Valavanis and this is my first attempt at blogging. I’m not too sure where this journey will take me, but my intention is to inspire and uplift you to live life to the fullest in the now and not keep putting things off till tomorrow or well into the future. We are only here for a short time (depending on your spiritual beliefs), so make the most of each and every day before it’s too late! NO REGRETS!!!
But first, I’ll take you back to a time when I looked at life very differently…
My wife Lisa and I first met in a job way back in 1992 and instantly hit it off. We had common beliefs and ideals plus a sense of adventure and fun, which is what I believe attracted me to her. Life was pretty cruisy and care free in those days, and we could do as we pleased, because we had no commitments.
A good friendship quickly developed into a relationship and a deeper connection. Our love blossomed and we started talking about the future together, as we came to the realisation that we could possibly be “soul mates” and couldn’t imagine our lives without each other. Of course, we had our ups and downs, as any new couple would, once you begin to find out more and more about what makes the other person tick. As a couple though, it is important to work through the difficult times and to learn about the word COMPROMISE, because this is what will galvanise you both together and make you stronger.
After years of dating, we decided to purchase a block of land together and things naturally progressed until the moment felt right and I proposed. We had a year and a half to plan and save for our wedding and make it the most special, memorable day of our lives. The day came and went in 1999 without a hiccup (apart from the venue double booking our date!) and it lived up to all the hype. It still only feels like yesterday, but in another sense, a lifetime ago!
We went overseas on our honeymoon for four weeks, and when we returned, lived in Lisa’s one bedroom flat for a couple of months until our house was ready to move into. Life in our eyes couldn’t get much better…we were on our way!
I know I am breezing through this, but life was a lot simpler BC (before children). You could be self-indulgent and not have anyone to answer to. There wasn’t a little bundle around that was so dependent on you to be there at their beck and call.
We had always discussed having children and couldn’t wait for the day when you could have one of our very own. That day came on Christmas Eve in 2001 when Lisa told me that she was pregnant. It was literally like all of my Christmas’s had come at once! We were over the moon and told everyone the fantastic news as soon as we could and then started setting up the nursery in preparation and anticipation.
Apart from Lisa’s regular bout of morning sickness through the first and second trimester, the pregnancy went quite well and the scans didn’t pick up anything unusual. We happily continued along, week by week, counting down the days when we could hold our newborn in our arms.
The days seemed to drag and in the week leading up to the birth, a work colleague and close friend was killed in a car accident. By pure coincidence, the funeral and Lisa’s delivery day happened to be on the same day and I was torn between feeling the need to attend both.
In the end we agreed that I would attend the funeral, because Lisa had a lifelong friend by her side that could be with her through the strong labour pains and it looked like it was going to be a long haul anyway, as the first births generally are. I could go to the funeral, of which I was a pallbearer, and hopefully make it back in time to witness a miracle.
I will never forget the rollercoaster of emotions I felt that day. In the morning I sent off a dear friend to the afterlife and in the afternoon I welcomed a beautiful baby boy who we named Samuel. I had literally experienced the circle of life!
Lisa had come through a very difficult and intense labour, but in the end it was all worth it. After all, we had created a new life. As first time parents we were absolutely thrilled, but in less than six weeks’ time our whole world as we knew it would be turned upside down.