Posted by: morrowsl | June 10, 2010

Life goes on…

I’ve always been amazed at the resiliency of human nature.  When struck by tragedy or crisis, time slams to a stop for most of us and doesn’t seem to move again until we are ready for it.  And in the minutes or hours or days during which we are frozen inside time, we face our fears or deal with our demons at whatever pace best fits our needs.  Then, once we are ready to face the world again, time resumes and we pick up where we left off.

At least, that’s how it seems to happen.  But in reality, that’s a facade.  Time does not stop and start by our will and we are never given enough time to deal with whatever our lives have thrown at us.  While we face the challenge at hand, time is flying by at breakneck speed and we are simply losing touch with all the extraneous goings on around us.  That is why, once we’ve reached the other side of whatever we’ve been dealing with, we can’t recall much of what happened aside from the unrelated bits and pieces.  There are standout moments that we never forget, but the minutiae is out of focus and we just can’t recall the details.

Last Friday a very dear friend lost her last battle with cancer.  I didn’t find out until four days later.  In the time between her passing and my awareness of it, I did the things I normally do with my days.  I cleaned my house, spent time on the internet, cooked, talked on the phone, took my grandson to the zoo with my sister, showered and slept and helped my husband pack his car for his weekly trip to his out-of-town job.  And in the hours since I have done those same types of activities, only with my thoughts turning ever inward to my friend and our time together (so short!!) and the adventures we had.

I don’t believe she would have wanted me to stop time.  I think she knew and knows still that the hours we have are meant to be lived to the greatest extent and fullest measure.  That is how she spent her days.

The morning after I found out she was gone I spent a moment in silent acknowledgment of the day she would not see.  The sun was bearing down on the day, the cloudless sky forever blue, the birds and squirrels shuffling from tree to tree in search of food and shelter from the coming heat.  Out on the interstate that has served as the dividing line between her neighborhood and mine, the traffic flew by, the trucks in search of commerce, the commuters heading to work, an occasional vacationer passing through town, moms taking kids to school.  Somewhere a bell rang in a classroom.  A baby cried.  A kettle whistled.  A lawnmower growled.  Dogs barked at passing traffic.  The air conditioner kicked on.  Phones rang and horns honked and televisions droned the daily news.

Life goes on.

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