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Time, screams and empathy vs lethargy.

When I heard the agonizing scream from outside to the table I sat notarizing documents upon, I knew something horrific had happened.

Then I heard the second “NO!!!!!”

I could barely focus – immediately the empath in me had eyes watering and vision blurred.

I absolutely felt the sorrow.

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I had just seen the gentleman last week.  And when I say ‘Gentleman’ I mean that truly.

This was a happy, loving, GIVING person.  Fortunate due to the effort he’d put into his life and … suddenly gone at 56 and alone in his chair when he did so.   His wife was here waiting for his arrival when she got the news.  He passed alone.

He wasn’t sick.  He had plans, as we do.  But, time doesn’t factor that in for us does it?

A long time client and very dear friend to two of my bosses.

Today was filled with tears because, when someone I love is hurting, I FEEL their pain in a visceral way.

Also, I had experienced this person so recently and knew what kindness and generosity he shared.

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I found myself questioning again ‘The Higher Power’s’ choices.

One of my dearest friends started chemo today.

I’m ashamed to say, a fact I found out later in the day after receiving no response from her.

I was sick last week – and isn’t it silly that I didn’t want to visit her in my condition considering hers?  But, I didn’t want her immune system compromised for her impending procedure.

The woman who has given of herself and loved the helpless and hopeless.

Why not the pedophiles??  Why not the evil at heart???? WHY????  Why the good ones?  And don’t come back at me with ‘He has a plan.’

What plan would any father have to subject his smallest, youngest children to cancer?  To famine?  To fear and war?

None I say.

I’m a little bitter right now if you haven’t noticed.

_______________________________

As we wept, I considered the fact that the two most affected already have a plan.

They want to spend the rest of their days together.  Retired.

And I’ve been looking at my life too.

What do I want for myself?

Nothing material, that’s for sure.

But with every ‘spell’  every ‘bad day’ physically, I find myself contemplating my last days.

And bottom line is:

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Preciousness of the time I have remaining.

It could be gone in a minute.

Then I remember what is important.

I always do.

People.  Service.  LOVE.  Loving others.  Friends, family, strangers.

Not cars or clothes or cash.

It’s never been those things for me.  And I’m grateful I’ve always had that attitude.

But I DO ask myself is:

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THAT is what is important.

So, if my last day on the planet is tomorrow – I hope I’ve fulfilled that last one at least!

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Musings from the Laundromat – Tick Tock edition.

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Long chats with my Laundry Lady and Glaucoma Man today.

I gave Laundry Lady my phone number in case she ever needs anything.   She doesn’t have a car.  Depends on her roommate to get her to work and home.  She’s been working there for over 8 years – no vacation pay – no benefits.  I learned so much more today about her.

She mentioned she hates working the morning shifts, but loves seeing me.  That made my day.  Because I feel the same way.  For over 6 years I’ve waddled into that building, weighted down by my laundry baskets.  And I can count on seeing her sweet face and her beautiful smile.  I can count on her putting on the coffee and having a brief chat.

I’m making a point of being more involved and engaged with people in my life.

-Tick Tock-

Received some bad news recently about someone I love dearly … And it rocked my world.  I’ll keep them anonymous, but, the news was the ‘C’ word.

Inoperable ‘C’ word.

And what angers me so much is that this person is so very good and kind and loving and giving.  And too young for such a diagnosis.

This person has so much to share with the world and the world needs them!

It’s that stage of life now isn’t it?   Late 40’s.  Where you start hearing about people falling ill or worse.

-Tick Tock-

There are some other people in my life, who will also remain anonymous, who have been madly in love for over 41 years.   I mean, seriously, deliriously and obviously in LOVE.  Still get butterflies when they see each other.  It’s palpable.  Their love is something you can almost reach out and touch it’s that real.  They’re ridding themselves of material things and readying themselves for retirement.   They want to spend the rest of their lives traveling and loving one another.

I think that’s beautiful.  And I find myself envying what they have in a non-green way.  I’m happy for them, so very happy for them – but yes, there is a part of me that knows I will never have that and a part of me yearns for it.

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-Tick Tock-

I’m flying again on Thursday – to see that someone special again.  Spreading my wings, exploring options – overcoming fears and giving life a look.

I will say that I AM fortunate.  I’ve done more in my lifetime than most.  Traveled and soaked up other cultures, beliefs and people.

From France to India in a bus full of eclectic passengers.  I’m forever grateful for that experience.

-Tick Tock-

Had an amazing day yesterday seeing another person I love.  A dear friend and practically a brother.  We grew up together in England.  His mother is my God Mother and there was a point our parents, who are still dear friends, lived together.  We reenacted a photo taken 43 years ago.

Here it is.

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But as I was leaving, I had a sinking feeling we may never see one another again.  And it made me sad and so very aware of time.  Time and the passage of it.  Of life and its beautiful uncertainties.

My son leaves in January.  I was reading a Facebook memory yesterday (thank goodness for those by the way) and it was me sharing my gratitude of spending time with him.  5 years ago yesterday we were curled up on the couch watching ‘Up’ and I expressed how precious I knew that moment was.

I was in that moment and knew with my whole heart how important it was just to spend that time – because life is so fleeting.

I hope I never forget to feel that way.

No matter what happens, I’ll endeavor to cherish the important people and things.

Because once the curtain comes down, there’s no more time to say “I love you.”

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And the clock ticks on.  Life is in session.

Slipping through my fingers

I just returned from a special day with my mom.

Driving home it was 111 degrees in my car, but I had goosebumps on my skin while listening to this song.

It is our song – no doubt.

We both cried the first time we saw this scene in a local movie theater.  For different reasons I thought at the time, but now I’m not so sure.

I had chosen the soundtrack for the car ride today as it was our special mother-daughter day.

She mentioned Dancing Queen and how she related to it and to the part of the movie when Meryl Streep said “I used to have fun.”

She told me one day I would understand.

I reminded her that ‘one day’ had come.

I look back now at the days before I was a mother.  When I was the Dancing Queen – young and, okay, not so sweet.  But God did I live!

I know she did too.

She was young and beautiful and had hopes and dreams.

I do understand.

I keep catching up to points in her life all the time – and all the while she’s having new experiences that ‘one day’ I’ll understand.

“Do I really see what’s in her mind
Each time I think I’m close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time”

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I wonder if my mom knows how much she still means to me.

I watched her today, on a spa table.

She was on her back, eyes closed – golden red hair splayed out around her and she looked … so beautiful.

“Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it …”

I said nothing for a while – just stared at her.

This woman who was my entire world when I was that school girl.

She lay there, very still, lit by artificial light – as if she were no longer alive.

I couldn’t bear the thought of it.

“You’ll make a beautiful corpse.” I said.

She smiled.

We have a wicked sense of humor.

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“Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers
Slipping through my fingers all the time”

The thing about becoming a mother, is that it’s the exact moment we realize how much our own mothers love us! 

Then in necessary irony, the universe shifts the pull of gravity from her to our own children.

But as my child becomes a man, I find an unmistakable pull back to the woman who once had my whole heart.

Today I wanted to soak up every second I had with her – catching glimpses of the woman who once sat brushing my hair, making my porridge, stroking my forehead.

“Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she’s gone, there’s that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can’t deny”

As I dropped her off home –  we both said our I love you’s and good-bye’s …  I suddenly wanted to never say good-bye.

I wanted my head in her lap as she stroked my forehead  – I wanted to see her dance and to talk about her hopes and dreams.

She got out of the car and turned and waved …

“Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness”

Slipping through my fingers all the time.

 

 

 

Pass as Paper

Some weeks pass as paper – crossed off day by day.

I’ve begun to feel the future as a countdown to ‘too late’.

It used to be different – there was something to look forward to

at the completion of inked slashes.

A trip – a birthday – the arrival of a visitor.

I forget to change the page anymore.

One day winds into the next –

a weekend not even two days.

“Where has the month gone?”

I hear this – I say nothing.

I’m agreeing in silent thought.

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Where has it gone.

Where has the last year gone.

Waiting and crossing days off in my head.

Special days arrive unfulfilled

Mentally crossed off.

My trust and faith chipping away.

Jaded.

Used.

Exhausted.

Turning pages of a cowards calendar.