First, I want to give an update on the nightmare situation. In my post called The Nightmares Return I complained about having nightmares once again. Those nightmares stayed with me for about two or three weeks. Then they disappeared as quickly as they started. I’ve returned to normal dreaming patterns, but I don’t feel like I’ve returned to normal sleeping patterns. I am sleeping, but I’m waking often during the night and I get up feeling exhausted. It’s not a good way to start a new day. However, I’m just grateful that I am sleeping.
To me, sleep is one of the most important parts of life. Without it, my mind and body suffers greatly because sleep governs the way I think and feel. If I have no sleep, I have no tolerance. If I get lots of sleep, I feel as if nothing much gets under my skin and annoys me. I’m sure other people are the same. As long as I sleep, I can find a way to cope with life’s issues. And life has a way of throwing many issues at me.
However, I don’t want to get into that. There’s something else on my mind at the moment. I guess I think too much because I find myself worrying over things I have no control over…once again.
When I was young, time went slowly. To me, each day at school felt like an eternity. Oppressive summer heat bore down on me for many, many months, or so it felt at the time, sometimes reducing me to tears as I crawled home from a long school day. The time between one Christmas and the next was so long and drawn out that I thought it would never happen again.
When I was married and my boys were young, time started to speed up a bit. I was glad to whiz past the period of sleepless nights after bringing a newborn home. I wasn’t so pleased to see my boys grow up so quickly, but what can a mother do about that?
Then, before I knew it, I was fast approaching my 40th birthday and my sons were teenagers. Where had the time gone?
Now, I’m 45 years old. Each week speeds by so quickly I can hardly catch my breath. My youngest son has ended his own life. My parents are in their seventies. My father is having hip replacement surgery. My uncle is seriously unwell, as is my father-in-law.
Suddenly, life seems so short.
Last night, I sat beside my father in hospital and saw an old man for the first time. No colour touched his face. Although, after major surgery, drugs kept the pain away, he looked feeble. Suddenly he took a little turn. My father was feeling dizzy, yet needed to vomit. His hand reached out for something, but I could see he didn’t know what he was reaching for. My mother and I rushed forward. We held something to his lips, while his head lolled around and his eyes misted over. Within minutes, many doctors had gathered around his bed (pushing me and my mother to one side) and with them they had bought nurses and equipment to monitor his vitals.
At that moment, I realised how each moment is valuable. You’d think I would have learned this lesson after losing my precious son, but no, I guess we never fully understand how quickly things change. We take things for granted. We say we’ll do something tomorrow, but how do we know that tomorrow exists for us…or for them.
Children grow up believing their parents will be around forever; even though they know about death. As parents, we believe we will grow old and see our children become adults and have children of their own before we leave this world. No one plans on death. No one likes to think about it. But it’s the one thing that we are all guaranteed to experience.
I worry about my future. I worry about Daniel’s future. I believe this worry is part of the reason I was having nightmares and am now having restless nights. I suppose I presume too much when I think about where I’ll be living in the future and how I’ll make ends meet in times that do not look promising. But presume I do; think I do; plan I do. What’s the alternative? Giving up!
How time flies. Now I worry that if I blink, another twenty years might have passed and I could have missed all the living in between. Don’t take things for granted. Don’t leave things until tomorrow. But most importantly, don’t say tomorrow what should be said today.
When we left my father last night, he was doing much better. He was almost his cheeky self. The doctors said he would be watched carefully overnight, but they expected him to be just fine. Yesterday, I told my father for the first time in my life that I love him.