Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Wrinkle in Time

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.

A central concept in the story is the tesseract -- a phenomenon where one is able (in the book) to move from points in space and time to others through a fifth dimension.

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.
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Kim said...

What a great reminder. You are getting me off of my rear and getting me motivated. Thanks!!

Gigi said...

A beautiful post. I loved A Wrinkle In Time as a child as well...I may just have to pick it back up and have another read.

Sarah said...

I'm sorry to hear your dad has passed. I believe our spirits/souls linger after we're gone. I think he's still around you and his love for you never dies. I hope you heal as time goes on, and thanks for the wise reminder.

foxy said...

Oh girl, what an extremely touching post! And you're exactly right.... don't waste the time that you have today. Very inspiring.

I'm sorry, again, about your dad. I will send positive thoughts your way.....

Kerry Neville Bakken said...

This is such a heartfelt, honest post reminding us that time is all we have so we need to resepct its passing and its future.

Stopping by from SITS

Charlene said...

Thanks everyone... *HUGS*

Jennifer said...

I thought about you this week, and I just knew. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Missa said...

Sending some love your way.


webb said...

Consider yourself hugged. keep all those good memories of your dad. You'll never stop missing him, but the pain will ease and the good memories will mean a lot as time goes by. So sorry for your loss. love.

kneesandpaws said...

I'm so sorry to learn of your dad's passing. I'm holding you and your family "in the light". I remember returning to work too soon after losing my dad. Every where I went it felt like I'd been slapped in the face, and slapped hard. I identify with the time warped feeling. Thank you for giving words to this pain. Stopping by from SITS Saturday Sharefest.

Erin Wallace said...

A Wrinkle In TIme was one of my favorite books as well. I haven't read it in a long time, but I have become a lifelong fan of Madeline L'Engle, who writes so eloquently about Christianity and faith. It does seem like there is a wrinkle in my life - where did the time go? Happy SITS Sunday.

Angie said...

Charlene, I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my own father in September, and to deal with the grief, I've written a lot about it on my blog. There are still days when I forget he's really dead, and I still do reach for the phone to call before I remember that I can't.

You're completely right about the WIT phenomenon that accompanies death, at least for those watching it. I have vivid flashbacks to childhood, to things I'd forgotten. More flashbacks to those days in the hospital, or watching him scared and in pain. It's gut-wrenching. These are not fuzzy memories, but sharp pictures complete with colors and smells, and sometimes even tactile sensations.

I know you've got a lot on your mind right now, but if you want to visit my blog, maybe something I've written can help you as you grieve. If nothing else, sometimes it helps to know you're not alone.

God bless you and your family in the weeks and months to come.

The Guy's Perspective said...

And it really is as simple as that. Nice message.

I love that book. Did you know that book was rejected by around 50 publishers before it got published and then won the Newberry Medal? (Sp?)

Just goes to show. She followed your message to a T. Just do it! (Wait, that sounds like an ad I've heard before??)

FireTruckOnFire said...

I'm a recently a new blogger, I'm enjoying your blog!

Just a heads up that I'm following and reading :)

Vivianne's Vista said...

I'm so sorry to hear your father passed away Charlene. My Dad has diabetes also, and I just can't fathom losing him either. I'm so amazed at your strength. Despite your grief your post is incredibly intuitive and uplifting. Hugs and kisses to you.

Missa said...

Just checking in to send some light your way!!


Charlene said...

Thanks. The funeral is today... will probably need every ounce of strength y'all are asending my way. Thank you so much!

Christy said...

I'm so sorry that your dad has passed on. And thank you for the reminder to use our time wisely.

BTW, I also enjoy Madeleine L'Engle. I have most of her books...and read them over and over and over.

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