Most of you are familiar with the expression ‘There is time for everything’, ‘Make hay while the sun shines’, ‘Time and tide waits for no man’ and other sayings that have to do with time. One thing is certain though.
Last weekend, I went with my mum to go see a friend of hers who lost her husband. I almost never do this. For this particular friend of hers (let’s just call her Aunt Carol who by the way is an extremely awesome person), I made an exception and joined my mother on the journey.
After all our road drama (my mother would have been a successful actress in another life), we finally got there at 1:35pm. My mum had already called in earlier to tell her she was coming and ask for a landmark to the house as it had been a while that she’d been there, so she was expected.
That day, the word ‘expected’ was highly underrated.
From the gate of the house, it was like people were hailing a celebrity who was passing by. I turned to look around to see who it was and saw my mother smiling and blushing at the same time. I looked at her with my eyebrows raised, an act we’ve very well practiced over time in asking each other questions. She gave me a side look which meant ‘Oh, you haven’t seen anything yet’. I sent her back a look that said ‘Remember, we are not taking so much time o, we’ve agreed’. In response, she shot me a look then that I couldn’t quite understand. I was still wondering what this meant when I heard her nickname. Then more name calls, loud hoots and hailing.
Today, my mother was the celebrity.
We got upstairs and then the real show began. Front and side hugs, kisses, more nickname calling, clapping, laughter, holding hands, more hugs.
I stood some distance watching it all and wondering how my mum had transformed. The happiness in her eyes was something wonderful to see. This is what only old friends can bring. According to her, for those few minutes, time stood still.
Eventually, like after 20 minutes, they realized that there was someone else with her and I stepped forward. I was bear-hugged after being introduced to her friends I was meeting for the first time and warmly greeted those I remembered. There were five of them, really good looking, all her secondary school friends from about forty years ago. Today, they were women in their late fifties, some early sixties. The last time they had been together like this was at the naming of the Aunt Carol’s first child in 1978. Everyone settled down but still kept checking each other out, who had put on weight, whose head had the most white hair, who hadn’t changed at all.
Then, the stories began.
I heard a version of my birth I never knew existed. I heard stories of their children and grandchildren. I heard stories of times when mum was a ‘popular’ student in school and how people revered her. Judging by her small stature, no one would even think she could do quarter of the things she did but I knew better now as I’ve had years of experience on ‘Mum’. They talked about friends who stopped by the other day, those outside the country and even went as far as trying to Skype them. Surely, I was on standby to help them before they broke the internet.
As they chatted, they recounted their experiences and all that life offered them, their dreams, both the ones that came to pass and new dreams they were working on. They exchanged stories about their joys, annoying moments, disappointments, excitement, family, love. When they all joined hands with Aunt Carol with sad smiles on their faces, I knew that was my cue to leave.
The thing is, you’d think they planned to reunite from the way they were all boisterous and acting like teenagers. You’d never think they just all happened to be at the same place, that particular time. Even Aunt Carol, who was the host was so full of life that you’d find it so hard to believe, that it was she who had just lost her husband. The whole house had come alive! Indeed, no man is an island and everyone needs someone.
This got me thinking about how I’d be at my mother’s age. Would I be as blessed to have people who really cared about me around me? At that age, would meeting up with my friends be as cool as this? Would I have that light in my eyes when I see old friends. Would old friends be glad to see me?
Would I have achieved all that I planned to?
At the end of the day, your relationship with people really matters, but what matters most is how well you spend your time. You might think that you’ve got all the time in the world to turn things around, say the right words, follow your dreams, be your true self. Before you know it, you wake up one morning and realize that the next day, you would be clocking 60. ‘Where did all the time go to?’ you’d ask.
Truly, truly time flies.
It is almost mid-year and in some months, the countdown to the end of 2016 would begin. If you are yet to make plans for your goals this year, there’s no time like now to get to it. If you’ve made clear goals for the year but haven’t gotten around to actually doing things to make it happen, all I can say is, don’t let this year pass you by because it won’t come again. I remember frequently reciting this rhyme years back, not because I fully understood what it meant but simply because I liked the way it sounded from my mouth. Today, the reverse is the case.
Tick says the clock, tick, tick. What you have to do, do quick!
So, please pick up the phone and call that old friend! You never know if your call might be the ray of hope they need to get out of whatever funk they might be in at the moment. You want to start up that business idea, what are you waiting for? There’s only one way to start a business. You just START. You need to further your education? Become a professional? Marry that girl, say yes to that guy? Whatever you want to do today, don’t wait for tomorrow. It’s easier said than done I know, but it can be done. Like Nike says…
By the way, my mum and I left Aunt Carol’s house at 10:48pm. Considering the fact we had planned to spend at most 3 hours with her, the extra 6 hours in her house was a gift time chose to give them all. I watched my mother as she looked out of the window, deep in her thoughts, on our way home. As for me after watching her for a while, I turned to the other side and slept the rest of the ride home.
That day, time was well spent.
The worst thing in life is not money or people getting away from you, its time.
– Bishop T.D Jakes
Peace and love.