Yesterday a friend and I went shopping for something for her to wear to a wedding. It was a rushed effort and last minute since her schedule has been very demanding. So we ventured to a town nearby where we knew of a couple shops that carry unique clothing at somewhat affordable prices. Thus missing the onslaught of traffic and the mad pace of the city.
Our second stop was to a shop where we somewhat knew the owner rather well. Well let’s say we felt we did because she was a really great merchant and made all her customers feel they knew her well. Yet we didn’t socialize with her or I don’t think either of us even knew her last name. She had been ill for a few months. The result of hip surgery gone a-rye. When I asked the woman working how she was doing, she told us that she had died. I couldn’t believe it. Just the other day I thought of phoning the shop to find out how she was doing yet felt that may be a bit too intrusive so did not. Thought I would just pop in one day soon and maybe she would be there.
Well she is not coming back to her shop. Sadly so. The nice part is that her long time friends are keeping it open in a move to save what she so loved. Yet somehow I didn’t feel the spirit I did before and there was no longer a thing in the shop I wanted. Fortunately my friend found something for the wedding there so at least we did not leave empty handed and more or less our mission was accomplished.
That encounter carried with me for the remainder of the day and still hangs today. I think of the people who passed just this month that I have know not well, yet they were casually in my life on some realm. I wonder if I should have been more friendly. Should have taken more time to talk with them. Give them a bit more of myself. Yet we do this in life. We meet people and then time passes. The pace of life picks up and we hope to perhaps see them again or think we may make time to call or email. Have a coffee. Yet the days go by and we haven’t.
Hearing of this woman passing seemed closer to me then perhaps it should probably because we had similar backgrounds. Similar interests. Similar tastes. We were also close to the same age. I could not get out of my mind how we must go for what we want in life because like this lady, our date and time may have arrived before we anticipate it. She seemed to be content with everything. Her friends, where she lived. Her shop. She didn’t seem to long for much or at least she did not allude to doing so.
My Dad came to mind of how he so wanted to return to the Island where he was born and lived most of his life. My Mother and he purchased a home at the encouragement, well maybe more like at force of my sister when my Mother retired. It was so removed from everything they knew and not even close to either of us. Yet the sales pitch by my sister was this was perfect for them. The house was nice well enough just did not present the quality of life that they needed in later years. All they had was a nice house.
Daddy so wanted to stay on the island and longed to go back. My Mother because of my sister would not hear of selling the house. She had them convinced they could not afford anything on the island, yet they probably could have. Daddy missed the sea breeze. The salt air. He missed the familiar neighborhoods. The people he knew. One morning in April a few years after they moved to the house, Mother found him dead having died she guessed in his sleep. He did not get to fulfill his deep seated desire to return to what he knew or to be near the ocean. To smell the salt air. To walk the beach. It saddens one’s heart to know there was a void and makes the living think that each moment really counts. That we should pursue what is important to us. That we should chase our dreams. That we should do what is in our heart.
Oddly my Mother returned to the island a few years later much against my sister’s approval. Her life was fuller. Happier. She was surrounded by friends and she flourished in her later years. It was what my Dad wanted for both of them and fortunately at least one of the achieved the dream.
So it is that time passes. It passes before our very eyes. It passes before we know we have missed the golden ring. It passes before we know the light is shining down to say come to heaven and then we have missed our chance to fulfill the dreams. So we have to then negotiate our way around to come back and live the next life a little differently promising ourselves in the next life we will do what is important. Follow our heart and our dreams. At least we have that to consider as time passes.
For those of us who it seems have years ahead, we must seize the opportunity to do what we want most. We must shed the cloaks that bind and fly free to our destiny. We must write if we want. Paint if we want. Sing loud if we want and dance with abandon. After all it is what life is about as time passes.