Everything seemed at an end. Alice watched as the drip flowing into her arm counted the seconds. Little use they were to her. Life was ending ebbing away as the drops flowed. She could count in hours or in days it made little difference.
Her daughter’s worried face appeared around the door, a brave smile in residence. Grasping Alice’s free hand she pulled the chair close to the bed.
“I came as fast as I could mum…” The words tumbled on the air loosing their meaning. Alice smiled keeping her composure till the last.
“I know you did honey…” Her eyes were heavy, so very heavy; she began to drift back to the days when she held her in her arms a tiny pink bundle of new life. Now the hourglass had turned, their roles reversed. Another figure stepped from the shadows. Her smile deepened – John.
“Mum?” the voice anxious.
“I was dreaming of your father …so long ago now… I’m so tired…” Alice felt tears drop on her fingers. There was only Annie left now all the rest were gone and soon she, herself, would be gone too; poor Annie. She was too tired to think about it now. John was calling. How pleasant to just drift away in dreams… she was too tired to fight.
She awoke to the morning sun forming glittering patterns on the bed. Annie was asleep slouched in the chair. She felt light; the heavy drowsy feeling had left her. Maybe the drip had worked after all?
A young doctor entered surprised to see her awake and sitting up. Annie stirred and murmured something. Checking her pulse and breathing the doctor smiled.
“I don’t quite understand it but something amazing has happened.
“You mean I’m gonna make it?”
“Indeed you are!” His eyes glowed in pleasure.
It was not till later she recalled the dream. John talked with her. He wanted her to come now but she had begged for time, enough time to make sure Annie was OK. That time had been given her, she would not waste a second of it.
(This was inspired by a true story. A mother of three young children dying of cancer begged God for another 10 years to raise her kids. The cancer went into remission. Ten years later it returned, her widowed husband told me the story. I understood how he and his teenaged kids had such a peace about her death.)
Me? I wouldn’t have thought so, but today my grandson and I took a longer ride to school going along the cycle path between the lakes rather than our usual back road route. It added a quarter mile and five minutes to our ride, but what a difference!
I took in the blue of the sky (I was free to look instead of anxiously watching traffic for two). On one side an immensity of green enclosed the wood land on the other the lake lay cool and calm as if drawing my heart out of dusty confinement.
My grandson’s usual grumbles that he was “too tired, hadn’t slept well, etc.” transformed into calls of “Gran look at that duck all curled in a ball” or “oooh what a cutie!” as a myriad of dogs sauntered by happily enjoying an early morning stroll. People smiled and said hello instead of frowning.
We flew along unhampered by cars and pavements. My grandson becoming a boy again (rather than the obsessive I-pad player that took a stiff talk to get him to stop and eat breakfast.). Being out in nature had transformed his morning, but was it just him? Wasn’t I transformed also, how patient had I been focused solely on the all important school whistle?
What had it cost me? Not energy, the extra quarter mile was more than made up for by the lack of stress and the sky and water had fed my spirit with the stuff of dreams. It cost only five minutes, a terrific bargain! How many days last year had I nagged and cajoled to get him to school when the answer was there all the time and it only cost five minutes. I wonder how many other aspects of my life could be enriched by a few more five minute investments?
Brief moments of time glimmer in the darkness as pearls upon a string, savored one by one, each a complete entity.
Linked by strings of events, like twining DNA they weave their patterns from beginning to end, each strand diverse in length and radiance.
Will we set radiant jewels and pearls upon our thread of life or worthless stones, pebbles, even garbage? We must choose wisely each day those things we seek, for all to soon the moment has passed set forever in the pattern of the chain.