Tuesday, October 2, 2012

If Time Could Freeze, Please

Life needs a pause button.  I mean, if Staples can have an Easy button, why can’t life have a pause button?  The bills need to be able to wait and work needs to cease; not forever or even that long, just for a little while.  Not during happy moments, either.  Happy moments, like weddings or vacations or even the birth of a baby are things you plan.  You know they’re coming, or at least, I hope you do.  I’ve heard where some have had babies and never even knew they were pregnant.  That amazes me seeing how Char changed each time one of our sons was born.  Even when she was pregnant with our first she barely gained any weight, but there were other body changes that hinted that something was up.  Still, for the most part, celebrations are planned and eagerly expected.  We knew about Nathan and Christina’s wedding months in advance.  Vacation time could be taken and money saved up.  Even if you’re not completely prepared, you’re at least partially ready.

When catastrophe hits, however, it’s never a good time.  You’re never ready for it even if you’ve had time to prepare.  And the sad thing is, Life never stops or even slows down.  Work is patient, but only so far.  They may be sympathetic, but business has to keep going, projects completed, employees paid, and customers appeased.

Bills, on the other hand, are not so patient.  The power bill wants money as does the water and car payment, and if you don’t pay you’ll come home to another crisis on your hands.  Food still has to be bought because people have to eat, some more than others, and gas must be purchased or you’ll never get anywhere.  Children still have birthdays and people get sick.  Life goes on, no matter how much you want it to just stop until the crisis passes.  You scream at it to wait a moment, to allow you to catch up and regain your balance.

But it doesn’t.

It doesn’t even slow down.  Why?  Because, sadly, in the grand scheme of the universe, accidents, death, and divorces are just hiccups.  Life changes for you, but you do not halt the course of life.  It’s a sad reality and very humbling.  The world revolves, but never around us and at times that just pisses me off.

It was like that last week.  We had said goodbye to Teri’s mom and plans were being made for the funeral service.  However, other life events had already been scheduled and couldn’t be postponed.  Saturday, a niece was getting married and Betty’s son was torn.  You can’t just postpone a wedding the day before and pick it back up the following week.  The cake won’t set that long.  People have flown in, tuxes have been rented, and the preacher has already written out his funny one-liners about marriage.  Weddings don’t come with pause buttons, only cancellations and this one had to go on.

Birthdays for little kids need to go on, as well, especially if invitations have been sent to an entire class with no way of getting back in touch with anyone.  A four-year old doesn’t fully grasp the concept of death, fortunately, and wouldn’t really understand why the long awaited birthday party was suddenly not going to happen.  So, the party went on.  The cake was bought, the bouncy house inflated and the house that had been filled with tears an hour before now echoed with the laughter of tiny children, and you know what?  I honestly believe I heard Betty laughing as she looked down upon her great granddaughter.  It was an oasis in the middle of a desert of mourning.

Careers, also, don’t wait.  Teri was fortunate.  She could carry out many of her responsibilities remotely.  Of course, rarely was there a quiet place for her to work with all the people arriving, but luckily there was an extra bathroom she could hide in once in awhile.  Not everyone is allowed that luxury, however.  Trucks have to be driven, theater shows must go on and the corporate world still spins.  It’s a sad reality, but futures of the living can be derailed just for taking time off to say goodbye to a lost loved one.  The business world can sometimes be as cold as a utility bill, demanding your attention regardless of what else is going on in your life.

Our bodies and those of the people we care about don’t know to go in to pause mode, either.  The day of the funeral Char woke up with a swollen jaw due to an abscessed tooth.  Our niece started having problems with her intestines again and had to go back to the doctors, as well.  When we arrived back home, one of Sarah’s aunts was put into the hospital because a blood clot had traveled from her leg to her lung.  The rest of us were just plum exhausted.  Still, there is no pause button.

It’s not like I’m asking time to freeze in one place and never move again.  As much as I love relishing certain moments in life, I want it to go on.  I want to experience everything that is yet to come, such as grandchildren, weddings, and the eight-year old growing up and moving away to college.  I want life to continue; I just need it to pause for a few days once in awhile.  That’s really not too much to ask, is it?  Is it?

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Suggested Reading ~ The Night before Thanksgiving
                                 The Lingering Aroma

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