When I started this segment last week I had a grand plan for what I would be posting this week. Suffice to say, that’s not what’s going to go up. I was reminded vividly these past several days of a lesson that I learned a long time ago about time that bears repeating now, before we delve into the tools of managing our time usage.
You see…what it all boils down to is this: We all have exactly the same number of hours, minutes, and seconds in each day as everyone else, except of course for our first one and our last one. For every day in between, we have no more or no less than anyone else. It is what we DO with that gift that makes, breaks, or leaves us idle. How ever many days we get, the length of each one is the same for everyone experiencing it. We need to be vigilant to remind ourselves of this, and ask ourselves constantly what it is that we are doing in any given moment to move our self forward, up, and beyond where we have been.
The past week has been a blur for me, and the rest of my household. We have been to the highest heights, and the deepest lows in such a short span that I’m not sure where we have landed yet. My daughter graduated high school and waits for her time to leave for the Navy just as my nephew graduated from basic training for the Air Force and now heads out to his A-school. We were all on cloud-9, and then the phone call came that scratched the vinyl; time was quickly drawing to a close for my mother in law. It was surreal.
Eight weeks ago she fell and broke her leg. During surgery to repair the break the tumor was found. Shortly thereafter, so were the mets that go with the aggressive cancer that came back confirmed from the biopsy. We thought we had a chance to fight. We were wrong. The mets were everywhere and growing quickly. We went from shock and fight for your life, to there are no more options and you should make arrangements, in so short a window I don’t think any of us can put it to words. This past Saturday morning we got the call that there were less than 24 hours, give or take. The scramble to get her oldest son home in time, and to get everyone through to say ‘goodbye’ was exhausting, but managed. It had all happened so very fast.
She passed in the early morning hours on Sunday. We did all the things that needed doing to clear her room at the nursing facility and get her where she could be cared for and prepared for her last party, but there was no time yet to grieve. We still had other obligations. As you should well know by now…time waits for no one. It is the great equalizer amongst us all and while you are doing what needs doing, it slips through your grasp and floats on. My daughter had her end of the year banquet and awards on Sunday afternoon/evening. We were half-hearted heading out to go. She too, was not looking forward to the events. We were all spent, but we went anyway.
I am so thankful that we did. A new award for dedication and excellence was put into place and dedicated Sunday night for the outgoing CAPA (creative and performing arts high school) director. It was a surprise for him at the event, and to our daughter’s surprise, she became the inaugural recipient. For Dedication to the Art & Craft of Theater. The pendulum swung the other way when we least expected momentum.
It was the positive she needed to finish the difficult day. I am proud and grateful to see her efforts and enduring commitment recognized. The plaque that will hang in the theater also bears her name now and will be displayed for who knows how long…there are 29 other spots to fill, thus time will continue.
Our other daughter did not attend the awards, instead she went to make peace with the day a different way. The artist who rendered the work was shocked still for a moment to realize the final date was the same day as he was working, but also moved by the gesture being made. She took the time to have a last coke with my mother in law, the only way that was now left to her.
(yes, she’s got a thing for getting ink’d)
The point is not to share my crazy week so much as it is to realize that for every moment, there are different paths to choose. We can embrace each one for the opportunity they present to us, or we can toss them away with not embracing what could be. Time will go on, and we will have accomplishments and appreciation, or we will have regrets and loss. Which will yours be? What are YOU doing in this moment to make yourself better, stronger, faster and going further than where you have been before. It IS a choice, one we get to make over and over every day. Choose wisely before the moment is gone.