This is one of the many things I’ve learned in the last year. Time really does not wait for anyone or anything. It keeps ticking by, no matter what is happening in the world. Each day we watch the sunrise in the East and set in the West and everything that happens in between is history before we even realize it.
As I get older, time seems to fly by faster and faster. I remember when I was in elementary school, summer break felt like an eternity. Then I entered high school and suddenly summer break wasn’t long enough. Now I’m 26. I don’t really get summer break anymore. Now it’s just life, day to day, and it seems like I can’t get enough time in a day. I find myself thinking about where I’ve been or where I’m going more often than where I AM. I think it’s a good thing to think about the past once in a while–it allows us to learn for the future. Thinking about the future is also a good thing–it allows us to dream and create goals so we can build a road to get there. But thinking about both of those things too much can be harmful. It allows time to escape us…and once it escapes, we can not get any of it back. We must be present in order to build that road to reach our dreams and goals.
I was brought to the present when I visited with my whole family last weekend near Salt Lake City to celebrate the life of my grandparents. My grandmother has been battling cancer for a very long time and each time she has kicked it to the curb, but recently my family and I found out that she is not going to be able to fight it off this time. In addition, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s earlier in the 2012. I graduated with a physiology degree from CU and I have written plenty of papers on the disease, but I didn’t really understand any of it until this trip. My grandmother has about 6 months to live.
My grandparents have been married for 64 wonderful years. They brought 3 lovely children into this world, and one of them is my amazing mother. I’ve seen my grandparents argue, laugh, and just simply be. But I saw a more intimate relationship between my grandparents than I’ve ever witnessed before. Really, my whole family was more intimate. The reality of death does that to people. We all get caught in our lives; making money, raising children, going to school, etc. etc. that we may forget or lose touch with family, friends or our significant other here and there. But once we are brought back to earth by news such as death, we are brought back into the present trying to cherish every last moment we can until we can’t have it any longer. We all laughed, told our favorite memories, and shed tears. My papa spoke highly of his grandchildren, and gave us a speech about being in the moment and enjoying life. When I listened to my family speak of their memories, and I spoke of mine, I got chills realizing that this is it. Life is about enjoying and being in the moment-about being close with family and friends, laughing, crying, talking, and loving.
My favorite story and image from last weekend is that my papa holds and rocks my grandmother to sleep every night since she’s been sick. After 64 years, they are closer than ever and my papa is there for her night and day. He helps her feel comfortable, he loves her unconditionally, and he will continue to do so through the end. After all the good that my grandmother has given to everyone around her, and being the tender age of 81, it seems like she is being taken away from us far too soon. But she’s still smiling and enjoying life and I believe she’s at peace because of her amazing life she’s led and the amazing family she rose. I only hope to be as great as my grandmother and be loved by someone as wonderful as my papa.
Time waits for no one so I’m going to make sure to do what makes me happy, to love deeply, to cherish my family and friends and to laugh 🙂