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Monday, August 30, 2010

Do you have the time?

It's Monday, generally a try to recuperate from the weekend kind of day.  If you have the weekends off, then it is try to finish everything you couldn't do last week, and start all over again.  It is never ending, you try to cram a whole lot of fun activities, visits to family, this gathering, that party all in the span of 2 days.  Go back to work get through whatever you have to get accomplished and start looking forward to the weekend on or about Wednesday.  It seems to never end, and as we get older we seem to have less and less time.  

Time, it is such a precious commodity, yet we all to often waste it.  I'll do that tomorrow, I'll call them next week, oh there is plenty of time to do that, and so on.  We are given 24 hours in a day, we spend anywhere from 6 to 8 hours sleeping, 8 hours at work or school, and the rest trying to figure out what's for supper, what bills to pay, and what do I have to do tomorrow.  Time can be our friend or an enemy, it all depends at what angle we happen to be looking at it from.  

When death takes someone from us, we see time as a thief, steeling from us the future.  Taking all our plans and just throwing them by the wayside.  Time also sneaks up on us in the form of guilt, we start to wonder what would have happened if I had just spent a little more time with them, why didn't I call, I meant to visit.  The litany can go on and on.  But time is also a friend during our time of grief, we allow time to pass slowly as we look at the life we shared with our loved one.  As the days and nights come and go, we begin to learn acceptance, we begin to travel further along on our journey.  Time allows us to slowly heal, it does not heal all wounds and I truly believe this.  As a mother, a daughter, niece and granddaughter, I have learned that with each loss I suffered and survived through, I was left with scars.  Some scars are deeper than others of course, but like a person who suffers from arthritis, who gets achy before a storm, every once in a while the scars begin to hurt a little.  In time they are barely noticeable, as is the case with my dad, and still very sore and painful, as it is with my daughter's death.  

I wonder how many of us would do things differently if we knew just how much time we had.  I have seen so many people around me who become reflective and more aware of others when they have suffered the death of a loved one; they seem to recognize how short our time can be.  Still others, even when given a second chance at life, continue on the paths they traveled before, with no regard to the gifts surrounding them.  Or so it seems, I have learned that we act in ways that protect us, from pain, from being hurt again, and sometimes from ourselves.  We keep busy, we rush here and there, we try to cheat time, in the hopes of blocking out any thoughts of their death, our loss, and how everything seems to have changed.  I have learned that judgement is best left to the judges, because unless we are willing to walk in someone else's shoes, we cannot begin to try to assume anything.  We all cope in our own ways, we all do what is best for us, for our pain, for our healing. 

In Ann Dawson's, A Season of Grief there is a section called Time of Longing and in it is a short poem. 

       The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
       But I have promises to keep,
       And miles to go before I sleep
       And miles to go before I sleep.
                                                                      -Robert Frost
                                           'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening'

The author reflects on the poem by stating that she 'heard the words of the above poem years ago' at the time of John F. Kennedy's death.  She goes on to say, that 'It seemed as if our president had so many more miles to travel on this path before he reached the end of his journey, a journey that was cut short before his time.'  

We all know this sentiment quite well, many of us know someone whom we felt died way too young.  I use the term 'way too young' loosely, because age is a state of mind, and what seems old to someone is very young to someone else.  I had mentioned in an earlier post that when my grandfathers died, I remember being sad and knew I would missed them, but I felt they had lived full lives.  My dad on the other hand, I felt he had died way too young, after all he was only 68.  So I won't even tell you how I felt when my 23 year old died.  But I can say with confidence, that they all accomplished something in their 'time' here on earth.  As long or short as it may have seemed, it was all the time they needed to complete their mission.  And everyone of the members of my family that have died, definitely left a legacy.  They cherished their time, they shared their time with others, they accepted time as their friend and they left us each with the gift of their time with us.  

I googled, 'What is time?' and one of the best descriptions was 'When we think of time we tend to think of the ways in which we measure the passing of time, such as a clock or watch, or perhaps a measured interval of time such as an hour or minute, but not of time itself. So what is time? Exactly what is it that we are measuring?'  If you wish to read on you can visit their website:  What is Time? or just do as I did and google it.  There are some interesting variations on time and our perception of it.  

However you perceive time, use it wisely, enjoy it immensely and relish the time you were given with your loved one.  The time you spent together is more precious than any gem and it is stronger than any diamond, because the love you shared, will survive the test of time.  I love my daughter more today than I did yesterday, and as I approach the fourth anniversary of her death, I can feel her love surrounding me and the gentle hug she is giving my heart as I type.  Remember that the person may have died, but the love goes on and never dies.

Blessings! and until we meet again.

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