It never seems like there’s enough time in life. Unfortunately, it’s not until time is expired that we realize it. How many moments were wasted? How many moments did we spend in anger or ambivalence? How many times did we attend to a task but were annoyed that we had to do it?
I’ve had two clocks expire today. One on someone who was very dear to my family. The first alarm hit me with shock but the second left me in tears. I was a kid again, skipping around the house in white sneakers and a green dress as he sat at our kitchen table, talking animatedly about his childhood while he filled out a sheet buying girl scout cookies from me although he already had plenty in his cabinet.
I was in fifth grade and he was standing in front of my class talking about his WWII experiences. His eyes lit in excitement as he told his story with no regard to the time limit that was given.
I was in high school, and annoyed that he seemed to drag a short trip into a day-long event. I was young and didn’t understand that this was probably one of the few times he got out during the week.
All this brings me to today. Another alarm clock ringing loudly saying someone’s time has expired.
I choose to picture him as the energetic and lively man of my childhood. The man whose kindness extended to anyone who needed help and loved our family like his own. He was the first person that in my childhood naivete I didn’t just see as ‘old.’ In every story he told, every joke he shared with his wife of over 50 years, he was the first person who made me realize that even though we age, we still feel the same inside and our personality never really changes. His spirit exuded youth and joy.
My hometown lost a great man today. The library down the street wouldn’t exist without his doing. Many of the laws in Massachusetts protecting those with special needs were because of the organization he created to champion for the rights of his daughter.
There’s no preaching in this shorter-than-usual blog, no admonishments to love always, and there’s certainly no guilt-trip about how dare you ever get angry or annoyed at anyone. Because even in these moments, good or bad, love is present. All you have after that alarm clock rings, and it will eventually ring, are the memories you have of someone. Just please try to remember that.