Holding onto a life raft of memories in a tidal wave of sadness, I just finished re-reading one of my childhood favorites. It's a book called A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle.
Picture a straight line. Maybe a piece of string with a bead on each of the far sides. Then bend the string (creating in essence, a “wrinkle") and bring the two beads close together. Multiply that by numerous dimensions and there's your tesseract.
I'm thinking now that my life over the past couple of months must have involved a tesseract. (Okay, I know WIT is fiction but just humor me.)
I say "months" but somewhere in there are weeks...and hours...and years. Total time warp.
It feels so recent that my dad was in reasonable health, playing with my kids, enjoying tasty meals, telling and laughing at the same old jokes, going for walks, learning Spanish, watching movies... loving, living. And then “the diagnosis.” And then, gone.
There's so much I can write about this and I'm sure I will. Little pieces at a time. I'll try to keep my perfectionism at bay, knowing fully that there is no "right way." You may have to bear with me a little bit.
There is a theory that when a person is dying, their life flashes before their eyes. Watching my dad's process, I am certain that he actually did "re-live" his life in dreams and visions during his final days.
What I had no warning of is that watching a loved one die creates a similar experience. Over the past few weeks, I've spent countless hours being mentally/emotionally transported to various points in time throughout my childhood, then to recently when my dad when he was sick and scared... and then back to happier times in my memory. It's a wild ride, I have to tell ya.
Time has passed in ways I cannot fathom. Where did April go?? Has it already been more than a week since he died? Count the days. He really is gone. Sharp pain.
In another instant, I have a vivid recollection of a recent conversation. His voice in my head as real as if he's standing next to me. Hope. I look at the phone with a momentary thought that if I dial his number, he'll surely pick up.
The wrinkle in time folds and unfolds in unexpected ways. Precious, fleeting, unpredictable time.
It's probably not necessary but I'll indulge the central theme here of "life balance" and put a finer point to it...
People often use "no time" as an excuse not to do things, especially when it comes to taking care of themselves. For example... I know I should exercise more but I don't have the time... I know I should eat healthier but I don't have the time. Meditate - no time. Read more books - no time. Go back to school - no time. Get organized - no time. Be more romantic - no time.
If you're reading this, you have the time. Whatever that thing is that you've been "meaning to do"... no more excuses. Do it. Just push play.
Because someday -- and you have no idea when that day will be -- you truly won't have the time.
And then it will be too late.