Sunday, November 21, 2010

Allegro or Largo

In the olde days, "without a moment to spare" implied that something had happened just in the nick of time. It now means that everyone is so busy that a wound has to be potentially fatal before it gets the emergency room doctor's attention, and then, the life can be saved in the nick of time. Someone actually sat in the emergency room waiting area and died from a stabbing wound. The last words they heard?
"Sir! We all think our "emergency" is the most important one. The doctor will be with you shortly."
Sometimes it's not as blatantly obvious that the needs of humanity are blurring into the background. Sometimes the things that we don't have time for are things that really are important, maybe not life threatening but unbelievably worthwhile, given their moment. Someone recently told me they are biding their time, hating their job, until they can retire... oh wait, that was me, but as I watched a large redheaded woodpecker out the window this morning, working so hard to find what it needed to survive, I thought of how comforting and wonderful the nurses were for my Grandma after her stroke last week. Next, I thought how offensive it is to just exist when there are people who need others to help them and still others who dedicate their lives to providing this help.
I checked my investments and did a little calculating to decide when I'll be able to move on to retirement and ...and what? Waiting to die? Sometimes I have a hard time seeing the whole scope of things, and when my view involuntarily expands to include a larger part of the world around me, it's pretty scary how shallow my existence is. Perhaps there's something that can be done about it. Sometimes facing things is more painful than numbly ignoring them, but sometimes, given their moment, these things lead you to where you really want to be anyway.
I do a lot of things pretty well; I do nothing great. The people that helped Grandma feel good the last hours of her life did something great. My hat is off to them. I don't wear hats because they lead to premature male patern baldness, and I already have enough genetic strikes against me, so this is a metaphorical tipping of the hat.
As I watched Grandma bravely await whatever came next for her, and was mistaken for an angel by her, I realized that I have many genetic advantages on my side...I hope that i can live up to them. I felt very happy that Grandma knew what awaited her and welcomed it.
Having her look at me and ask me if I was there for her, because she was ready, was a life changing moment that I can't possibly explain.
There's a view of life that is so large that I can't possibly comprehend it, but Grandma did and wanted me to also. I'm such a disappointment.
Part venting, part grieving, part...ridge in a pear tree...
What? It can't all be morose.