Friday, September 26, 2014

It's About Time

I haven’t posted in a while, but I’ve meant to. Things have happened that I’ve wanted to write about but never quite figured out the angle, or work got in the way, or I just wasn’t in a blogging mood. I feel like I should post on some kind of schedule, but self-imposed deadlines are always the easiest to break. Why is that? Why do the things we want to do always sink to the bottom of the list?

I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately, and taking it for granted. I put things off because there’s always tomorrow. But what if there isn’t? Two weeks ago, a friend of mine died. Just like that. She was riding her bike with her husband, perfectly healthy and pedaling on a Chicago bike trail when a storm rolled in, and a tree fell on her. It sounds crazy, but it really happened. A perfectly healthy 46-year-old mother of two just died, in the most random and unexpected way. 

I’m not in mourning. Molly wasn’t family, or even a close friend anymore. We lived together for a few years in college, but we lost touch a long time ago and only recently reconnected over Facebook. I can’t stop thinking about her kids, and her husband, and the small things that are big things in the life of a family. Did she leave a load of laundry in the dryer? Who folded it? If a tree fell on me, Jeff would have to do a million tiny, painful, emotional things. How can you throw away the toothbrush of the person you love? 

This sounds morbid, I know. But for Molly’s family, it’s real. She ran out of time. There are so many tomorrows she will not see. She may not have finished the laundry. But I hope she told her kids she loved them when they parted that morning. I hope she was smiling and laughing on her bike ride, sharing private jokes with her husband and not fighting about who left shoes on the stairs and who put them away.

We don’t know how much time we have. Let’s prioritize.