Maybe this is just what it’s like being over 50? It seems that not a week goes by without sad news of a death or seriously grave health issue in my extended circle of family and friends. I shared this with a friend, listing all of stories of sadness that I am surrounded by this year. She suggested that maybe I just know too many people. That was good for a chuckle.
Many things change in midlife, but this has been the most life changing for me.
A very short story:
A daughter sat by her mother’s hospital bed. The doctor had just left the room, having said Mom would likely have another heart episode soon and because she did not wish to be resuscitated, they should be “prepared”. The mother and daughter held hands, softly saying the things they needed and wanted to tell each other and then shared a quiet moment just breathing together. Mom asked if a few friends and family could come by the hospital to say goodbye.
The calls were made, more sentiments shared and tears shed. The immediacy of the situation gave permission to those who had held back, to come forth and be open and generous. A gift of time.
That is a story of a most precious and beautiful time. A gift. Time to say what is in our hearts.
Yet each day, we have the very same gift. To hold a hand and tell a person what we need to tell them and want to say. To say, “I love you”, “I’m proud to know you”, “Thank you for all you’ve done for me”, “Your friendship has meant so much to me”, “I’m so sorry about the time that I …”.
But all too often, we do not. Time gets away from us, and then, it is gone. I’m trying to have more respect for the passing of time and the gifts that get away from me. Moments when I could say what I need and want to say to those I care about.
“They” say we get wiser as we pass 50, that we don’t get so frazzled by the minutia of the day. We learn to appreciate the simpler things like spending time with those we love. I’m getting it. Losses come faster and heavier with each passing year.
With that in mind, I’m very thankful for this gift I hold, this gift of time with friends and family.