Sometimes as a writer, the words just come through you. They just fall onto the page, the idea fully formed. This is one of those cases. It’s an “imaginary” conversation about perspective and the choices we make about what we do with the time we are given.
“Why don’t you want to go? Why do you want to stay here? What’s keeping you?”
“There is just so much that I want to do.”
“Why haven’t you done whatever is that you want to do? You’ve been here a long time.”
“Not that long.”
“Long enough. Quite long enough.”
“Not as long as other people.”
“That’s not how it works. You know that, don’t you?”
“I don’t want to leave the people I love.”
“No one does.”
“I want more time with them. A lot more time.”
“You had that time. You didn’t use your time that way. That choice was yours.”
“It wasn’t. I had to work to take care of people. It’s not easy to provide my family the life they deserve. It wasn’t my choice.”
“Whose choice was it then? You made a choice. All of that was your decision.”
“No one knows that soon enough. No one knows that until it’s too late.”
“Not true. Many know it. You knew it. Down deep you knew it. You just made a different choice.”
“That’s not fair.”
“Isn’t it? You were given your life to do with as you wished, just like everyone else. You made your choices, they made their choices. What could be more fair? You had the same freedom as everyone else, didn’t you?”
“I knew it. I just didn’t ‘know it.’ I mean, I knew that I had choices. I just couldn’t make them.”
“You could have . . .”
“You know what I mean.”
“You mean that it was difficult. That some choices were easier. Is that it?”
“I had a career. I had a family to support. I had to do whatever was necessary to give them what they needed.”
“What did they need? What did they really need?”
“They needed me to be there with them.”
“Sometimes. Yeah. Sometimes. But not as much as I should have been. I should have done more. I should have done better.”
“Your Father left. He was never there for you.”
“That’s not a way to measure what I was capable of.”
“What scale should we use? I’ve seen a lot worse than you. Immeasurably worse. Your imagination isn’t great enough.”
“That’s not the measurement! The measurement is what I was capable of . . . damn. I’m talking like it’s already over.”
“It is over. Time’s up.”
“It isn’t! It isn’t over!”
“I decide when it’s over. Aren’t you the least bit interested to know what’s on the other side? What awaits you?”
“No. I am interested in what’s on this side. I need to know that everyone is okay. That they’re all happy. They’re all safe. I’m the one that protects them. They need me.”
“Everyone feels like that. Everyone steps into the darkness not knowing. No one controls what happens after they leave.”
There are plenty of things that can distract you from what’s most important.
This is the second year I am taking my entire family to brunch. We have a big room reserved at a nice restaurant, and there will something close to 50 us sharing Easter brunch together. Grandparents will be surrounded by their children, who will be surrounded by their children and their children’s children.
Regardless of what you believe, today is day for faith, family, and friends.
Do good works!