The Gift

Time. It’s a funny thing really. We all have the same amount of it: yet some of us seem to have too much of it and others don’t seem to have enough. I fall into the latter category. I’m constantly one step ahead of where I am, planning, figuring, creating and playing out the next scenario. I’ve always got multiple things going on at the same time. My mother likens me to a race car. She’s always said that I drive my car full speed ahead and that I lap everyone else about five times before they reach the finish. Maybe she’s right. Maybe that explains why I’m so tired half the time??

Time has been slipping away from me lately too. I think that happens to all moms when they suddenly realize that their babies will be all grown up and leaving the nest. For someone who has spent the last 20 years living for the next moment to make sure life runs smoothly for everyone around her, the thought of having too much time on her hands now feels ominous.

In the midst of my busy world, I received an invitation. “You are hereby cordially invited to visit Saint and me at our home to see us in our own environment.” Despite my assumed “lack of time,” I was all for this. Road Trip!

Ironically enough, time immediately slowed down the moment I arrived at Dr. J’s home. Not in a bad way, but in a calming sort of way. Saint’s excitement when she greeted me by opening the door, wagging her tail, was palatable. I couldn’t help but smile. I could tell both she and Dr. J were pleased to share their world.

As I toured their home, met Saint’s fuzzy toys and watched her “nudge” the doors closed, retrieve carrots and help Dr. J put on a sweater, I became acutely aware of my lack of patience. I don’t mean that I was impatient with the visit, but I was awed with the level of understanding between the two. Saint is a dog: albeit a wonderfully smart and loving animal, she is still a dog. But in many ways she was like a small child. Her excitement sometimes threw off her normally obedient behavior and required multiple requests to do something. Dr. J, however, never grew frustrated or annoyed. She never raised her voice, she just simply kept encouraging her companion to help her. Time was of no matter. They lived for the moment. Every single moment.

I rode home after in silence. I didn’t bother to turn on the radio or drive fast. Instead I reflected on what I had seen. I went to see how Dr. J and Saint do day-to-day things and to witness how a physical challenge doesn’t have to limit us. But what I saw touched me on a deeper level. Time was a gift. One I needed to nurture a bit more.

Last night instead of puttering around the kitchen and busying myself with things, I quietly went and sat beside my husband and leaned on him. It’d been a long time since we’d been home alone and just watched TV like that. Today, I called my daughter and took the time to catch up on her busy college life. Time is all around us, but what we do with it is up to us. As I think about what is ahead for Dr. J, Saint and all of those involved with BEYOND LIMITS and the hike, I wonder if they are taking the time to truly enjoy the journey.

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