I am more aware of the passage of time than ever before in my life. A constant press onward. Time moves in a torrent whipping me along at breakneck speed. Or painstakingly slow, lulling me drowsily through. Never stopping. Not for one nanosecond. Even as I myself feel stagnant and stuck. Time propels. Drunk on its own power. Time does as it pleases. We must abide to be its faithful passengers.
I don’t know if it’s the period in my own life or my awareness of the happenings in others’ lives but the recent years have force fed me some hard knock shit. Next level, adulting sucks type shit. I have become a compulsory witness to the unravelings of the lives in my circles. Tremendous losses. Divorce, infidelity, terminal and chronic illnesses, death. Name it and I can say “Been there, done that”. While fighting my own despair and grief. It is as if we are a viking clan engaged in a vicious field battle with a land we attempted to raid. We all are weary. Bearing wounds and scars. Casualties among us. Victorious in survival.
We are all campaigning against time.
My little girl still believes in Santa Claus. She believes in fairies and unicorns and dragons. She believes that one day she will receive a letter from Hogwarts, accepting her into the school of Wizardry and Magic. I not only allow but propagate her remaining innocence. I fuel and encourage her faith in enchantment and fantasy.
Because since she was 4 years old she has endured greater loss than some adults will ever know. She has lost key people in her village. I could not protect her from that emptiness and grief. Her life and her reality exists in a world where people she loves and needs die. I have broken her heart with the truth of life and death more than any mother ever wants to.
And tomorrow I have to do it again.
Tomorrow I have to tell my precious 8 year old child that another person from our core is irreversibly sick. Tomorrow I have to explain to her that I don’t know what will happen. Or when it will happen. Tomorrow I have to alert her to the fact that our time with this special person is in fact borrowed. I have to be the one to break her heart and help her put it back together. And I recognize that each time I have to do this it alters who she is and who she will become.
Will life experience make her stronger? I sure as fuck hope so. Can I be there to hold space and snuggle her up and alleviate her fears? Absolutely. Will I falter and misstep? Absolutely.
Our family is shaken. We are preparing for battle. How that crusade unfolds will depend upon our leader. We will execute her orders and command her wishes.
The endless tug of war with time. We know we cannot win immortality. What designates a champion? Physical trophies? Epic war stories? Love gained?
Do I know what I am fighting for?
Moments. The comfort of peace. The bubbling of joy. The rush of love.
Time. We all want just a little bit more time.
Tomorrow I have to break my daughter’s heart open again. But for this moment I will indulge in watching her sleep.