I was going to write a story today bemoaning the fact that I’m turning another year older this week. It was going to be full of poor-pitiful-me comments partnered with a lot of crying like a baby. I’m getting old, Wahhh! I’m born on Christmas Day and never have a birthday party, Wahhh! My body doesn’t bounce back quite the same as it once did after cleaning the house, Wahhh! I was planning to use humor to tell the story.
Then came the text. A high school chum sent me a message this morning to tell me that another high school friend of ours passed away last night. Cancer. Instead of my original plan for a story laden with self-pity, I’m burdened with the weight of a bright light that no longer shines. And she was a dazzling one. Hence, I am not feeling humorous today.
This news causes me to appreciate the fact that I’m here to have another birthday, of course. But it also reminds me that it WILL end. No one gets out. Intellectually, this fact has always been floating around in my mind. But mostly in the unconscious brain area where thoughts lie waiting to be awakened. A safe place where it can live and not bother me too much. At least until I need to call on it for a pithy saying like: “Life is short.” “Time Flies” and “You never know.” I’ve been using these phrases so much recently that I am reminded of another phrase I’ve used without conscious thought, “Time is of the essence.”
Or has it been without conscious consideration? I’ve spent the last 2 years quietly exploring my soul; dredging up heartache for closer inspection, identifying flaws that need attention, and digging deep into my heart where all that is good about me resides. I did all this quietly because I needed to progress unencumbered without the input of those who would undoubtedly mean well and try to help. Or because I feared the significance of my journey would not be understood by those who know me. And why should it? It is my journey, after all. Either reason or both work because both are true.
Much of what I discovered on my journey to date is that there is a power within us that can guide us through anything. The result of all this introspection is the awareness that love is on my side, even if time isn’t. Yes, a bright light was extinguished yesterday. But the love remains. And in the end, all you need is love.
Photo: The writer’s High School Senior picture from her year book.