We spend our lives looking forward to the day we get “there” as if it were a prize. The gold medal of life. As children we always look at our parents and want to be therm. I remember something as trivial as mimicking my dads foot steps so I could pretend I was bigger and I could keep up with him.
I wanted to be older so I could do more and hang with the adults or do the adult things like drive a car. A lifetime of making plans and living through disappointments and challenges, bangs and bruises hoping and holding on to faith that I was on the right path and that through some miracle things would work out and we’d be ok.
Working my way through school, getting an education, wanting to keep up with the Jones’ and perhaps getting caught up in that lifestyle not knowing why I was doing what I was doing while I did it. What was the meaning behind it all? Why was everything so important? We did I stress over so much?
The years to come seemed so far away. I couldn’t wait to be 16 so I could get my driver’s license. And then 18 so I could go out with my buddies and not be the stick in the mud because we couldn’t get in to see a restricted movie. And then things just seemed to speed up. Life got faster.
The twenties hit. Marriage at a young age. A father with new reasonability’s given to me, a guy who had barely grown up yet. But there I was … a dad. And now I had to hurry some more because I bought a house, had a mortgage and a family. And then a car … and … I wanted more.
Then the 30’s hit and that come with a divorce, relocation, a nicer car, another home with fun leisurely activities. Weekend trips. Golfing, boating, skiing (in winter) … then business travel kicks in … wow … I was living the dream. Or so I truly believed. I was so wrapped up in-it that I did not see what was happening around me. Life was passing me by but I never would have believed that.
I buried my only child not understanding why all this could happen to me and at that moment, time stood still for the first time. But not for long. This time I ran faster. I ran as fast as I could through my life not wanting to slow down so I could avoid the pain of living in the moment. I avoided my family, my friends and my lovers. Had you asked me back then if I was happy, I would have said yes. I was living life. Or so I thought.
These past few weeks I am reminded again of the brevity of life as I watch Michelle’s dad transition in his final hours. Ironic how we want the seconds to last longer, the minutes to become hours and the hours to turn into days so we can capture just a few more minutes of something we’ll no longer have a chance to experience. Just one more smile. One more brushing of the hair away from the eyes. One more look of approval as we walk into the room. One more of anything we ever wanted from our dad.
Our good bye will take on a whole new meaning … again.
The paradoxical meaning of life. We live strong, healthy, vibrant lives knowing we do our best for our children, family and loved ones and ourselves and in a blink of an eye, we are crippled and seemingly shot in the knees and brought to the ground face first and life says STOP. Only then to wither away while our family watches on helplessly. This may sound like an over dramatization of one’s final days, I assure you, it is not.
We may not all end our journey in this life this way, but it does happen and more than we may know or want to believe. It is how some of my family and friends have passed.
It stands again as a reminder of the fragility of life. The importance and grandness of our families. The endless quest for love we all crave for ourselves, our souls and with the hope that we are surrounded by it in our final hours. Because in the end, we will want to know we were loved. Let’s get off the hamster wheel and look around us, breathe, inhale life. Tomorrow will arrive soon enough. Today brings enough of its own stresses. Tick tock, tick tock … what are you doing with your time?