Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Forever Young

Today's run: (a day off!)
Donation's raised to date: $3,715

At some point in our lives we become extremely aware of time. I'm not sure when it happens, but I can reassure you that it is sometime after the age of two. 

I have a learned a lot from Riley, my spunky little 2.5 year old, who seems to have absolutely no sense or concern about time. While Roger and I are rushed to get here or there, eat meals at a certain time, sleep at a certain time, wake up a certain time, she always seems to be rather happily oblivious to it all. She has perfected the art of "stopping to smell the roses" (or in her case, stopping to poke the slugs or yank at the spiderwebs) with the innocence and patience that it seems like only children still possess.

More often that I want to admit, I am pleading with her to "hurry up." Tonight, as we parked at Costco, she told me she needed a minute. She climbed out of her car seat, gingerly took each of the five stuffed animals she had brought and slowly and carefully lined each of them up in the back seat, making sure to say goodbye and then kiss each one of them before setting down the next. She then took the buckle and, very slowly, tried to buckle them each in, reassuring them that she'd be back soon. At first, I admit, I was frustrated. It was cold and windy outside and I was standing there, waiting, trying to coax her out while also running through my grocery list in my mind so I could quickly get in and get out. I was ready to go ... now.

How wonderful it must be to be a child and feel zero need to rush about to meet any type of deadline. Riley has taught me something. Made me wonder. Why am I in such a rush to get everywhere? When did I lose sight of enjoying every moment? ... and just, well, letting it go?

When we lost Reese, I cried in pain, not only because I missed her with such intensity but because I was certain she was crying for us, missing us with an equal amount of pain. And there was nothing I could do. I could not protect my baby from this pain. Wherever she was, she was without her mom, her dad, her sister. All I wanted to do was hold her and reassure her that we'd be together again someday. Instead, I was helpless. I never thought I'd be able to live the years and years that we all might have to wait to see each other again.

Then one night while I was in prayer, something occurred to me ... perhaps time is irrelevant in Heaven. For Reese, maybe it will have only felt like a day, or even a moment had passed when we see each other again. She may never miss us because she never will never had time to ... time undefined. An immediate sense of relief washed over me. Hope. 

I don't know if this is true but I have to hope. If you believe that children come from Heaven, then this idea of a timeless Heaven becomes easier to believe. Children, like Riley, enjoy life moment by moment. On Earth, I think they teach us, remind us, that there are often more important things than counting down the hours until a deadline ... rushing from this to that. They bring this innocence - this focus on moments, rather than time - with them. Why is it that the young feel that they have all the time in the world and the old feel that their life has flown by? At some point, maybe we put a greater importance on time than it really deserves.

I don't have the answers but I do have faith and I do have hope. And I have someone who reminds me in her own little way every day that there is reason to believe.