I had a stroke last year in May. It was scary lying there paralysed wondering if I’d end up being a vegetable. I decided that if I survived, I’d receive my moko kauae.
I love working with people, but I’m actually quite shy. That’s why I wanted my moko kauae to represent my passion for people and whakapapa. The design is unique because it weaves together both my Cook Island and Nga Puhi parentage. The line in the middle represents my son.
While I was in the hospital, the security guard from work came to visit and another regular visitor to the gallery came too. I started to realise the impact I have in the community. On Monday I celebrated my stroke-a-versary. If you don’t have a stroke within the same year that’s a good thing!
We often worry about the past and the future, but we’re hardly ever in the moment. There’s a saying from Kung Fu Panda that I love: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the “present”. So let’s rejoice that we’re alive and healthy… things could always be worse.