Who’s Sorry Now

Who’s sorry now? ~ Connie Francis

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Sorry (adj): feeling or expressing regret, compunction, sympathy, for an action

 

When I was was 13 my brother had a terrible cycling accident and was taken to hospital. I remember the police arriving at home, I remember going to the hospital with my mum, and afterwards I remember her saying the first thing he said to her when she want in to see him was “Sorry, mum”

Fast forward. I’m 41  I’m going to the same hospital to see my mum and the first thing she says to me when I get to her bed and she knows I am there is “I’m sorry”

My brother had been sorry for damaging his bike, for upsetting mum, for causing worry. Now my mum is concerned about causing upset, fearing worry, taking up our time.

Yet, as I sit there, sometimes with friends or with siblings, sometimes alone, mum talks. She talks about her funeral, she talks about what hymns she might like and what she wants us to do, and she talks her own mother and when she died. And she says the most extraordinary thing, “It’s life, we just don’t have time, we’re all so busy…. I came home, I cooked you all tea. And I got a call from the care home to say that she’d died”

My mum was apologising to me, to all of us, for taking up our time, causing worry, yet also thinking to a time when she was sorry, when she gave all the time she could, to her elderly mother but also to her family.

No, mum, I’m sorry. We’re sorry. You no more chose to have an incurable degenerative disease than my brother chose to have a bicycle accident, or grandmother chose to get old.

I’m lucky, I know. My mum be in an awful place with her MS and that is never getting better. It’s not news. She was diagnosed 32 years and it’s been a slow insidious creep that has ended up here. But she is still here. I’m poignantly heartbeakingly aware of those who don’t have that, those whose parents have died, those whose children have died, friends gone too soon. And the awful inevitability of time.

So I’m sorry. For all those times I wasn’t around, for when I didn’t think, for when I could’ve been better. Yet at the same time I’m not sorry because like mum said it’s life. There is never enough time. All we can do is choose how we spend it and who we spend it with.

 

Princess

 

 

 

 

 

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Jump Into The Abyss

“You’re my best friend” ~ Queen

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Best Friend (n): someone with whom one shares the strongest possible friendship, an especially close and trusted friend

 

I think, in the words of Terry Pratchett, Dave didn’t so much die young as leave early to avoid the rush. Because we all know this year has been absolutely awful for death and Dave never was one for hanging around at parties.

I forget sometimes, I genuinely forget that he’s dead, and that whole remembering process crashes over me. Swifter now than before, not always as jaggedly painful, sometimes downright awful. And it’s the lack of contact that is weighing hard on me now.

I didn’t reply to his last text, you see. I wasn’t ignoring him, it just wasn’t something I had any response to. It sits there now on my phone, forever unanswered. I still don’t have anything to say in response to it but the fact I never can is something I will be a long time getting my head around.

Pretty much everyone who ever loses someone, and even more those who lose someone unexpectedly, talks about there not being enough time, to tell people they matter, etc etc. I do it too. But as was pointed out these are wise words that we think we adhere to but actually seldom do. And it’s true. I try to tell or show the people I love that I love them, to make time for those who matter, to take risks and leaps with my one wild and precious life. but I don’t always manage it. There is a heap of stuff unsaid, not done, because I am lazy or unmotivated or actually too damn scared.

The scared rankles. I can embrace my laziness, my indolence, I can’t be doing with scared. But sometimes the pain of risk, of retribution and dire consequence, feels so much stronger that those important things remain unsaid or undone. The timing doesn’t feel right or so we tell ourselves. But the whole thing is about timing, isn’t it? And that, my friends, is finite. The time right now is all we’ve got.

I can’t ever text Dave again. But I can do the other things. Maybe, like Nick Cave says, I’ll jump into the abyss and find it only comes up to my knees. 

Take care, mate. I miss you.

 

Stef

 

 

*Best Friend’s Note: Dave died on 28th August 2014 following a massive brain haemorrhage. These are posts I’ve written previously

https://princessofvp.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/best-friend/

https://princessofvp.wordpress.com/2015/08/28/i-never-could-get-the-hang-of-thursdays-a-letter-to-my-best-friend/

 

All The Time In The World

“We have all the time in the world” ~ Louis Armstrong

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Time (n): the past, present, and future regarded as a continuous whole.

 

Except we don’t. Have all the time in the world, I mean. We each have the same number of seconds, minutes, hours, in a day. But none of us know when those will end. None of us knows when the errant moment on the road may occur, when the diagnosis may be made, when the night comes that we don’t wake from.

Some advocate carpe diem – seize the day. Don’t let a single second of your most precious life go by without doing something with it. As though we are supposed to stuff every single second with activity and meaning.

I just add this; if you want to lie on the sofa reading for several hours, then do it. If you want to spend three hours in Homebase deciding on a choice of paint, then do it. It is your time to spend and your time to waste, your time to do with as you want. Those moments of doing absolutely nothing can be every bit as rewarding as those spent bungee-jumping or climbing mountains.

We can’t and won’t all be rocket scientists or brain surgeons, amazing novelists or life-changing politicians. But we can and should be us, using and enjoying our time our way.

You don’t know what time you have so use it as you choose. You have all the time in your world, so why not spend it doing what you want.

 

Princess