I love to stare out the window for five minutes each day and watch the clouds float by or the leaves blow around in the wind.

I often think back to when my mother was dying from breast cancer 15 years ago. She had spent weeks in hospital and was discharged home to receive palliative care.

She was exhausted from the car journey but determined to enjoy her time at home and relax in her favourite armchair.  We’re a big family and we were all desperately focused on making sure everything was perfect.  Some of us helped settle her into her comfy chair others prepared food that might appeal to her taste buds while the rest figured out the timetable for her medications.

I was kneeling by her chair attempting to unravel the lead from her oxygen tank when I heard her exclaim: ‘Look!’  Her voice was alarmingly stronger than it had been in a long time.

Her face was lit up with her beautiful smile and her eyes were wide with excitement. Her outstretched arm was pointing towards the window.

I spun round to look but I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.

My initial thought was: ‘Oh God. She’s hallucinating. Have we given her too much medication?’  Then, my second, the melodramatic side of me took charge and decided: ‘This is it, it’s her time, she sees her angels coming for her’.

‘The bird, look at the bird,’ she said.

Her face was pure joy.  It reminded me of when a baby notices something for the first time, the simple things we take for granted as we grow up.  My mother was in a moment of being present, of truly being present. In the midst of everyone fussing about, the exhaustion and pain she would have felt and weeks of looking at the same four walls in a hospital, she was able to appreciate the beauty of this little bird simply sitting on a railing.

When I reflect on this moment, it’s often a sign for me that it is time to get grounded, look up, observe and appreciate the beauty all around me and around us all.

If this is to be the last feeling that I will ever have, I intend to breathe it in and enjoy it.

Rosie x