Getting in touch…..
As I get older I am sorely aware of how fast time passes. When we are children we cannot wait to get bigger. When we hit our teens we can’t wait to be able to get driver’s license and our own car. Then it’s reaching 21 and being “legal”. Time is like molasses and we are anxious for it to shoot by, we are immortal and will live forever. We tempt fate and do dangerous stupid things without regard. Then one day you find yourself looking back with grown children and grand children and great grandchildren and three divorces and signing up for Social Security and Medicare and realizing that time has somehow sped up to an alarming pace and with every cherished weekend ending and going back to work on Monday that you’ve gotten old somehow and wishing you could just slow the clock down.
Time gets very valuable when you have less of it. We don’t realize that when we are very young.
In the past year, three people I was close to have died. Last March, just before his birthday, my brother passed away. Died in his sleep. He had diabetes, was a smoker all his adult and teen years. He was a wonderful person and mostly I will miss his laugh. A few weeks ago I found out that another person I knew very well had died. We were good friends for years. Played cards together, worked together, shared a lot personally. We had a big falling out about five years ago and didn’t speak for two years, but then mended fences and tried to be close again. Then a year ago, another falling out. And again we haven’t spoken since. What I will remember most about him was how much he loved his kids. This week I heard that one of my best friends from high school had passed away. We were very close for years back when I lived in Georgia. I had heard from mutual friends that he had been ill for a while but didn’t know the nature of his health problems. Now he too has died.
I am at the age where every day brings that possibility. That I will hear that someone else I knew has died. I know people that have survived serious illnesses, cancer, accidents, have lost children. And as we age and see that life is only a breath away from ending for us and everyone around us, we begin to finally get very selfish at wanting to hold on to every day, to drag our feet and slow the whole run away train down.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my brother more often. I wish I could have stayed friends with Frank, could have survived his temper and his irrational mind. I wish I had made the effort to contact Jim and just talked with him about old times when he was still alive. I can’t go back and change those things. And I know there are other things I would wish, but don’t know that I will do anything in my remaining days to save myself the regret I will feel when they present themselves to me.
But I do know that every day means more to me with each passing day. And the people who mean a lot to me need to hear it more often. Opportunity, like time, is fleeting and fragile. Carpe diem!