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What to do With that Second


This week has been an emotional roller coaster on many levels, including the grade 8 graduation of two granddaughters from two distinct school systems; one Christian, the other public.

Our family is a patchwork quilt of colours that sometimes clash, but always belong together, no matter what. We have had painful differences, broken relationships, different paths chosen, but in the end we hang together because our individual relationships matter above all else. 

I have done a lot of thinking this week about my mum's response to my announcement 44 years ago, at 18, that we were marrying a year later and leaving for a life 3,000 miles away. 

Did it hurt her? Did it cost her? Did she lose years of intimate time together with us? The answer to all of those questions is obvious. And yet she never once focused on any of those things. It is only just now, when I am experiencing some of those feelings myself, that I'm thinking of how she must have felt. 

Mum looked at me with eyes that shone only love for us and said, "As long as you are happy, I will be happy."

Now---now--I understand that was an act of the will as much as an choice of the heart. With those ten words and generosity of spirit, she gave us a gift; freedom to fly. 

Anyone who reads this blog knows the depth of my bond with Mum, and how my twice yearly trips home in her old age were born out of a love that transcended time and distance and for which no cost was too much. 

I want to be like her...

Yesterday evening Tippy and I had walked Molson around the hushed streets of Bond Head as the sun set and the half moon rose. She, a 14 year old on the cusp of High School, was feeling the sadness of leaving the wonderful Sir William Osler Public School. She said, "I sometimes wish I could stop time."

This morning Tippy and her sister Tori, had breakfast with us before going to spend a week with their dad, Jay. 

We feasted at a table loaded with buttermilk pancakes fresh off the griddle, maple syrup and butter, orange juice and coffee; and celebrated a summer about to start as Paul bantered in the jokey manner reserved for our six grandchildren. 

"Hey girls, did you know that this day is going to be one second longer ?" he asked.

Three quizzical pairs of eyes looked back at him. Tori, who doesn't so  much wake up in the morning as gradually emerge from a coma, struggled to comprehend.

"You mean that the day is going to be 24 hours and one second long?" she asked.

"No," said Paul, "when the clock gets to 11.59 and 59 it will go: 59 seconds, 59 seconds; before going to 12.00 midnight."

"That sounds a lot like 24 hours and one second to me," said Tori, as the three female pairs of eyes connected with a common twinkle.

Paul insisted that there was a fine difference, but that we were getting an extra second somehow.

Tori's razor wit was waking up. 

"Well then, I'll savour that second," she said with a smile as she sipped her orange juice.

Savour that second. 

Accept choices that are not yours to make but love the ones who are precious to you for who they are.

Accept that change is the stuff of life--we won't love all changes, but we love the precious people in our lives.

Seconds pass, all too fast. How they are spent--we choose.


Marilyn said…
Oh, I loved this - the wisdom, the photos, the reflection on things past, the tie between past and present, the good resolve, moving forward! Life is too short to do otherwise. Each second can be lived well, chosen well.
Belinda said…
Thank you Marilyn. I've been loving what you've been writing too. I can't comment any more but I comment in my heart every time!

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