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The Gift of Time

Updated: Jul 7

Time is undeniably one of life's most precious gifts, often revealing its true value and significance when its scarcity becomes apparent.   As I sit here thinking what to write, I’m reminded that I’m still on Life's clock even when pausing to gather my thoughts.  Because like most people, I still have things I need to do before I close my eyes once again to rest and awaken to another day gone and another granted. 

Grandparents, Percy & Ruby Howard

It was the loss of my grandfather that truly made me comprehend the significance of the phrase "Time waits for no one" and view it as a valuable gift. Even though I had heard the expression many times before and believed I understood its essence, it wasn't until I turned 30 that its meaning deeply resonated within me. I received a phone call informing me that my grandfather, one of the greatest individuals to have ever lived, was approaching the end of his life. Those who wanted to see him were advised to hurry. I immediately left my workplace, but upon my arrival, family had already come and left, and I entered his hospital room to find what could have passed for a mummy.  Evidently, it wasn't a mummy; it was my deceased grandfather wrapped tightly in a white sheet. His body had become so small in his sickness, it was hard for me to imagine someone so grand reduced to such a sight.  I remembered walking away crying heavily. It was when I reached outside that my sadness turned to unbelief and anger.  As I sat on the bench outside of Ochsner hospital with tears in my eyes, there were people walking by, some making eye contact and going on about their business. There were cars passing in both directions on Jefferson Highway. The sun was still shining. People were still laughing and talking.  I wanted to scream! Like don’t you know what has happened? But nothing stopped. My chest continued to rise and fall with every breath… the air that filled my lungs continued to do so without fail. For I myself still had time.

At that moment, having time did not seem like a gift. My grandfather’s time in the physical realm had run out, but Life continued to go on without him, even my own.  I still had things to do and life to live before my clock stopped ticking, having another day gone and another not given; my life and time being but a memory. It was then that I realized that our lives had a begin and end date, and that our dash (the time in between) really mattered.

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