Monday, May 04, 2015

Make Up Day

Back in January or February, it snowed here in Charlotte.
Less than an inch of snow. But there was a thin coating of ice on everything.

Trees. Grass. Cars. Minivans. Driveways. Roadways.
Which meant that my hometown became a home town.
As in - everybody stayed home.
It was a Tuesday - which meant that my writing class was cancelled for the day.
I spent most of the two hours I would have been in class sitting at the kitchen counter writing and editing, journaling and reading, and also wasting time on Pinterest.

The writing class was originally scheduled to end tomorrow.
One final gathering, followed by a potluck lunch, and summer break.
But because of that icy Tuesday a few weeks back, we will have a make up day.
Next Tuesday will be our final class, followed by lunch.

Tomorrow, after spending time with the writerly crew I have come to know and respect, I will drive up into the mountains of North Carolina to pick my daughter up from college.
My daughter who will graduate from college in December.
My daughter who is still the bravest person I have ever known.
My sweet girl will be home for the summer.
Her brother, my sweet boy, is already home for the summer.

How is it that they are both done with their spring semester in college? When I was in college, back in the last century, we packed our bags and left for home the week after Memorial Day. How is it possible that college is almost four times as expensive now as it was back then, but they spent nearly four fewer weeks on campus?

Anyway, my babies are coming back home.
Our nest will be full again. So will my heart.
But neither the pantry nor the refrigerator will be full again for quite some time.

How is it possible that my two babies are college students?
Where have the years gone?

Today, I had a follow up visit with my oncologist. All is well with this aging and scarred body of mine, thanks be to God. Toward the end of the appointment, I asked the good doctor how he was doing, and I asked about his family as well. (Why should he be the only one who asks questions?) He spoke about wanting to go on a golf trip with his father and brothers. Perhaps returning to Scotland - a trip they took a year or so ago. He said that his sons, who are 14 and 10, would be upset if he went on another golf trip without them. I suggested that, before they try their hand at golf overseas, they could visit a few golf courses near the coast in South Carolina. He also spoke about going away with his wife to celebrate their anniversary. Life is so short. Life is too short to work as hard as he does, to see as much suffering and death as he has seen, and not enjoy time with his wife and sons.

I reminded him of what he already knew: time flies. Love the ones you're with, Doc. Don't wait. Don't save the money for some future time when you have more time. None of us will ever have more time than we have right now. This is the time that we have. This is the day that we have. This is the moment.

There are no make up days for our lives.
No make up days for trips not taken.
No make up days for conversations not had.
No make up days for hugs and kisses not given.
No make up days for stories untold.
No make up days for lessons unlearned.
No make up days for grudges held.
No make up days for relationships neglected.
No make up days for love unspoken. 
We cannot go back and do any of this again.
But we can do it now.

Say it now. Experience it now. 
Write it now. Pray about it now.
Whatever "it" is.
Love them now. Forgive them now. 
Listen to them now. 
Whoever your "them" may be. 
See your beautiful, wise self now. 
Love yourself now. Listen to yourself too.
Now is the time. Today is the day. 

Thanks be to God for the gift of this night.
This day. This hour. This moment.
This wonder-filled life.

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