What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

25 March 2017

Tick Tock

I'm in Indiana this weekend visiting my grandma. (Our usual hilarity is likely to ensue, if you're among her many Twitter fans.) Why? Because not only do I enjoy her company, but also because it makes her happy, and the time left to make her happy is short.

After my dad's mother passed away two years ago, one of my cousins wrote a beautiful Facebook post about being out of time--our mutual grandmother was her last living grandparent--and how precious hours and minutes become when there aren't that many left. This was one broken heart beautifully expressing what we were all feeling but hadn't yet articulated--time was up, and all we are left with are the memories we collected over a lifetime. It's not enough. It never is. (This happened back before the arrival of the Hamilton album and "running out of time" becoming a meme in its own right.) 

Of course we know in our heads that we're all running out of time, always, with our nearest and dearest as well as ourselves. We're not guaranteed any more time, no matter how much we try to stave off those thoughts with good intentions and grand plans to do better next time. And honestly, why would anyone truly want to live each minute like it could be the last one? I'm not sure how our human brains would hold up under that kind of stress. (Not to mention that no laundry or dishes would ever get washed again.) At the end of Thornton Wilder's Our Town, having seen how short and precious life is, Emily says, "Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you!" Mr. Wilder's insight burns with the intensity of a Bond villain's laser on the thing we're trying so hard not to think about--life is precious and fleeting, and it's too much to grasp in one go.

Now I'm the one with only one remaining grandparent. I still have some time, as quickly as it may be running out. It's not enough--it will never be enough--but it's all we have. When our last minute together arrives, I choose to be left with memories of the times I made grandma happy instead of empty regret. 

What are you running out of time for? 


Sharlan Proper said...

I'm so glad you're writing the conversations and events down as stories. You will always be able to find happy memories. Not only in the written word, but also in your own memory because you revisited the stories long enough to capture them for posterity.
Thank you for sharing that joy!

Gary Greene said...


Gary Greene said...

That was supposed to be "applause"

Su Wilcox said...

@Sharlan: Even if I were skeptical as to the value of writing things down, my "On This Day" page on Facebook every day would be enough to prove that it's valuable.

@Uncle Gary: *takes a bow*