There comes a time in everyone’s life, and sometimes several times in life, when a moment passes which is simply not retrievable.
I remember, when my father died, I was talking to him as I leaned over his hospital bed (although he couldn’t respond), and then I left him for the night.
It’s not that I necessarily thought he was not going to go that night, although it was imminent for sure, but I thought that I would probably have at least another day to share, if not more.
I was wrong.
That day never came and that moment – that explicit moment – became irretrievable.
And so it was with my mother. She had head faked us so many times over the past 45 years at least, which allowed her to live to be just shy of 92 years on this earth. Yes, she was getting weak and oh so tired. But I thought I would have yet another day, or week, or month for that matter — as I had “so many other times” over these past ten years.
So I didn’t immediately jump in the car. And I didn’t immediately rush to her bedside.
But life again proved me wrong and that moment – that explicit moment – proved irretrievable.
I don’t grieve that I didn’t see Dad or Mom one more time at that very explicit moment – that irretrievable moment. Neither of them would have recognized me if I had been there at that moment anyway.
But I do lament at how life can be so tenuous, so uncertain, that when that irretrievable moment comes — whether it’s the death of our parents, or of a relationship, or even of a business — we are, by that point, already on the other side of being able to do anything about it at all.
While I may have experienced that not every moment can be retrievable, what I have also internalized in the process is to do my best to embrace each and every day so fully that when those moments do come — as they will — it will be less painful.