Time is a precious, limited commodity. I think this realization strikes us the hardest when someone near and dear to us runs out out of time.
One of my good friends passed away a couple of days ago, her time on this earth abruptly cut far too short. I am still grappling with the loss of this vibrant and spirited woman. She was a friend to many, and she was feisty and outspoken about things we often disagreed about but were simultaneously able to laugh about. In the past several years, she faced increasing issues with her health. Despite chronic pain and other challenges that affected her daily life, the time I spent with her was filled with her lovely smile and laughter, of her wit and her humor, of her kindness and love that she freely gave to others. Those are the memories I will forever have of my friend.
At the same time, I feel a great heaviness in my heart because I didn’t seize all of the moments with her that I could have when she was here. I didn’t rush over to the care facility the second I’d heard from a family member that she might not have very much time left. I planned to go the very next day to see her, but by the next morning, she had already left.
I know that this (guilt) is a part of grieving, that it’s natural and that I’m not the only one who feels this way right now. I am grateful that she’s not in pain anymore. I’m thankful for the times that we did spend together and that I was lucky enough to have been blessed with her friendship.
But time. So limited and precious.
My friend was a great supporter of everyone she knew. In her last few years, she would use social media to stay very well connected, especially because she had a hard time getting out. She would often post social media pictures of the wonderful things that she had found at her friend Sally’s gift shop and tell everyone to go. She had one step-daughter and loved children so much — she would rejoice in her friends’ children’s achievements and was the honorary aunt to so many. She rejoiced in all that she could — when I published my books, I gave her copies and she read each one and did social media posts and gave copies to her friends and told them to read. She made the most of her time, even on these days that were so hard for her.
This post is mostly a tribute to my friend. It is also a reminder to myself to seize the day. The time we have is borrowed. The past three months, I’ve been hit extra hard with the reality that I cannot do everything that I want to do. I have had to focus on what I need to do, and unfortunately, writing has not been one of those things. Family (always) and sharp increase in work obligations (recent) have expanded to fill my writing time. And it has also swallowed up much of time that I could have spent with good friends. I have to forgive myself for this, as I’ve been working to be better at managing the things that I need to do. As my chaotic semester ends (I am an associate professor), I will do better in seizing the day in doing the things that I love and spending the moments with the people that I love.
Seize the moments.
Helen Boswell loved to get lost in the pages of a story from the time she could sound out the words. She credits her dad, an avid fiction reader, with encouraging her to read ALL OF THE BOOKS on his shelves. An author of both urban fantasy and contemporary romance, she loves to read and write characters that come to life with their beauty, flaws, and all. She is the author of the upper YA MYTHOLOGY trilogy and new adult contemporary romances. You can find out more about her books at www.helenboswell.com.