Absence Matters

I have been thinking alot about time, as my 60th birthday is right around the corner. All those sayings about time being fleeting, short, speedy it really is so true. You sprint from teenage to adult, from parents to empty nester, then the last leg retirement, slowing the pace, thinking about career, travel that happened and did not happen.

For me I have done some of it, more travel that did not happen than did. Career maybe not but some interesting jobs with great people and fun. No empty nest here, we will always have one son with us.

As I look at my husband and all the work he has done to regain what was damaged by the stroke, I think how Jake and I were blessed to be there on the front lines watching him, helping him, encouraging him and laughing with him. We have seen the wheelchair get returned, the walker put in storage, the shower chair loaned to someone who needed it. Real conversations beginning instead of drawing, pointing and gesturing.

While I thought about all of this it pointed me to those who have missed out. The family members who were absent for one reason or another.

Scotty has a friend, someone who worked for him many many years ago. You may live life and never know the impact you have on people. John came I think almost everyday to the ICU, I didn’t even want to tell him about Scotty right away because I knew it would be so hard on him. But I did and I was so glad for the company and the way he would talk to Scotty Marine to Marine. He hated seeing his friend in such a fragile condition and it was hard on him but he was not absent when it counted.

I think about the loss of my step daughter with whom I spoke everyday when we were not visiting and the first question always was how is Dad doing? She longed to be closer and often said I would be sick of her hanging around it was a joke because I could have never gotten sick of that for sure.

My brother in law who I talked to every single day and never knew to ask him to come while Scott was in the hospital. He was my rock for sure, I wanted to know I was making the right decisions and he talked thru everything with me supported me and told me I was doing a good job. He probably does not know how much it meant and how important he was to the recovery. He answered the phone and listened to me recant all the doctor reports, cry and make sure things were good.

My sister who texted me all the time not wanting to interrupt in case I was with a doctor or sleeping. We know how much we mean to each other always. We can say anything to each other and she was the one who stayed on the phone with me as I cried and questioned during that long drive from the office to the emergency room.

They were not absent.

The ones that were really absent, that did not participate that did not come to see him, that have not contributed to his recovery. I feel sad for them. We just had a conversation about how they missed out, and not we missed out.

Like I said life is short and there are so many things in life where there are no windows for do overs. Most things have only 1 take and it is hard to appreciate things when you have them because in the midst of it you don’t think they will ever be gone. Life fortunately or unfortunately changes constantly even though some days seem to always be the same.

My hope is those that are absent wake up and join in so they do not have to think about what has been missed.

Our blessings outweigh everything else. There are things that are hard and sad but in our house they are fleeting like time but the laughter, the happiness and the blessings hang around and are easy to remember.

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