Daddy was 80 this week; he and Mother celebrated 58 years together as well. It is my late-50-something time of being his first child on Father's Day. I realize that time is, pardon the pun, fleeting. I hear the chorus from "Rocky Horror" singing, "Time is fleeting.... let's do the time warp again..." There just isn't enough of it.
Time has been plaguing me lately. I want more and have no control over it. It fills itself with things that don't contribute to happiness. It ticks away quite contentedly while I run like a crazy woman trying to smash Every Single Thing into that I can. I won't live forever. No one does. Not on this Earth anyhow...
Years ago I was in a terrible car accident that should have left me dead. I remember skidding down the mountain side, watching the inside of my car turn white and feeling myself lifting away. I called out, "God! Please! Don't let me die tonight! I have so many things I need to finish! So many things I want to accomplish! I want to see my son grown! He can't miss the prom!" (It was prom weekend --- you know how important those things are...) A pair of unseen hands grabbed me by the forearms and shoved me backwards as the window shield exploded from the trees breaking over the car.
When the car stopped, it was possible to tell that it had been a car, but not much more. It hit with such force that it knocked the license plate off the back and the trunk flew open. The front seats were in the back; the back seats were in the trunk. My shoes were never found. Remarkably, the only injuries I had were air bag burns on my left hand where I tried to protect my face from the bag as it exploded (my glasses didn't fair so well), bruises from the knees down where the dash hit me as it pushed in, torn tendons in my right foot, and bruises from unseen hands. (The hospital staff took pictures of them to document the fingerprint bruises....)
The ambulance had removed me before the police arrived, so I didn't talk with the policeman on duty until I was naked on a CAT scan being checked for internal injuries. He blew in the door, wrapped his arms around me and cried like a girl. "I knew I was having to make a death call tonight! I don't know how you survived. It is a miracle!" he wept. I showed him my arms to confirm the miracle part.... and he smiled, apologized for rushing in as he had, and then left to call my son.
That was 15 years ago this past January. Sometimes I wonder why I was given this second chance. What was I supposed to do? It is rather like "It's a Wonderful Life." We don't know what difference we may have made or where, but we hope we have. As I listened to my parents talk this past week, reflecting on their lives together and their goals met or not, I realized that it really isn't about ticking off this or that on a list. It is about making the best use of what gifts one has and not about using time well. Time can't win that one. Ever.