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Not the BUCKET LIST I was hoping for...

In the intricate dance of life, I often feel like I’m living two seemingly disparate worlds – one revolving around my cherished family and the other fuelled by the passion and demands of my beloved business. The pendulum swings ceaselessly, navigating the unpredictable terrain of life’s ups and downs. Mastering the art of balance (most of the time), I allocate time to both worlds while ensuring there’s a precious reserve carved out for self-care.

Yet, despite managing life’s intricacies relatively well, I’ve found myself unwittingly ticking items off a bucket list that I never imagined creating.


Unfortunately, life has a way of surprising us, and my bucket list isn’t filled with the dream destinations and thrilling adventures you might expect. Instead, it catalogues unsavoury and challenging achievements, each marked by resilience, strength, and an unyielding spirit to survive. Strangely, the list mostly belongs to my son Sebby as we navigate through the unexpected twists and turns of his cancer diagnosis and subsequent disabilities.

Our list, etched with experiences that no one envies, includes moments like getting fitted for a wheelchair, enduring brain surgery, facing a cancer diagnosis, navigating disability, coping with vision impairment, surviving a stroke, undergoing MRI and CT scans, mending broken bones, enduring chemotherapy treatments, ambulance rides, royal flying doctor flights, grappling with a diabetes diagnosis, confronting anaphylaxis attacks, drug allergies, calling hospital a temporary home, PTSD, and depression. The list, unfortunately, continues to grow.

  I’m only in my early 40s, and my children are still very young, so I’ve never felt an urgency to create a list of dream destinations or adventures. Little did I know that life had other plans, unfolding a script that required courage beyond measure.

As I navigate through the unexpected chapters of our journey with Sebby, the essence of resilience becomes abundantly clear. It’s the unyielding strength to face each challenge head-on, to find hope in the face of adversity, and to redefine what it means to live truly. The pendulum of life may swing unpredictably, but the unwavering love within allows us not only to weather each storm but to emerge stronger, wiser, and more compassionate on the other side.

My mind and spirit have weathered the unthinkable, and each time we face a new blow, I am momentarily triggered to believe that this will be the time we don’t survive. Undoubtedly, I’m not superhuman; the human in me is what makes me an ever-evolving work-in-progress. It’s moments when we are challenged that our true intentions are revealed and learning can take place. I have learnt that growth is certain, but gratitude in the toughest times makes us resilient.

Books by Crystal Leonardi can be found on her website, Follow her journey @Bowerbird Publishing - Crystal Leonardi and #Bowerbird_Publishing

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