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In Memory of Gary



Do you ever notice the white crosses on the side of the road? The ones that stand in memory of someone who lost his or her life due to a car accident? 

I see one every day on my way to work.  As I stop at the red light, it's right there.... 
outside my window.  I vaguely remember hearing of an accident at this intersection... 
it was years ago.... motorcycle vs. car.....

The cross blends into the field now; my eyes so accustomed to it that I pay no mind and barely give it a passing glance.  Over the years, it's become faded and worn from the elements, with small cracks forming in the wood.  It sits as a reminder, but does anyone really notice? 

Recently I glanced that way, waiting for my turn to continue through the intersection, 
a million items running through my head on my never-ending to do list
when something caught my eye:

 I LOVE YOU DAD

The words penned across the top of the cross.

His son signed his name.

My heart skips a beat as my eyes fill with tears.

Out of time.  Gary simply ran out of time.  

How many things did he leave unfinished? Did his son even know him before he passed? Did he miss plans for a little league game or a trip to the zoo? What all did Gary lose by running out of time?

I wanted to take the kids miniature golfing this summer.  There is a place near work that can best be described as vintage. All the holes are the same, with outrageous decorations.  So cheesy, but I figured the kids would have a blast.  However, summer was shorter than I had planned.  Now we are back in the school routine.  I hurry to send them to school, hurry to work.... 

8 1/2 hours later, I head home to for supper and homework and soccer practice.... 20 minutes of reading.... laundry to be done....put the kids to bed so I can have 5 minutes of quiet before I have to go thru the school folders, check my to do list, prepare clothes for the morning and for after school at grandma's...I'm so tired.... as I run out of time to finish everything before collapsing into bed, only to start all over again at 5:15 a.m. the next morning.

Out of time.

I don't want to be out of time. 

I want to take the kids mini golfing, to celebrate 10 years of marriage in New Orleans, to play Santa and surprise the kids with wonderful toys that they've wanted all of 2 weeks after seeing an ad on television.  I want to finish the twins' baby books (because seriously it's only been six years!). I want, I want, I want.  My to do list grows longer.  As I'm sure Gary's was.  I want to go back to that time when we didn't have any plans on Saturday mornings, and I snuggled with two teeny tiny babies and a two-year old on the couch, watching Mickey Mouse Club House.  I want to host more kitchen dance parties.  I don't want to find myself out of time. 

While I'm sad that a man lost his life, and a child lost his father, I'm also thankful for the person who built the cross and placed it there in memory.  In memory of a life lost, but also a reminder to those still here:  Don't let yourself run out of time. Life is short; live every day like your last.

Comments

Unknown said…
This is beautifully written. I hope you get a chance to take the kids to mini golf. I'm sure you'll all love it. mwa

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