I’m sitting here on the Eve of Christmas Eve with my glass of wine contemplating the passing of time. I may be sitting in front of the fire by the Christmas tree and listening to Christmas music (the classics of course), but it doesn’t feel like Christmas. Long gone are the larger family gatherings of my youth, and even now the excitement of the holiday seems to be fading from my own kids – at least one of them. I’m sure it doesn’t help that we live in a different state than the rest of our extended family.
Our latest family news has included the usual winter illnesses, and my mom’s back injury. I think her injury is more serious than she leads on. And now I have received news that my grandpa is living in a nursing home and he isn’t doing well at all. I suppose at age 98 his deterioration is to be expected, but it still doesn’t lessen the reality of our mortality.
No it really doesn’t feel like Christmas. Instead the classic holiday songs are taking me on a trip down memory lane. Back to my youth. Back to days when the adults in my life were young, strong and seemingly invincible. Time sure has a way of devouring everything around it. While it makes the young grow strong, it makes the strong grow weak. I’ve already lost my beloved Grannie and Grandpa (my mom’s parents). Even after 14 years, I still miss my Grannie very much. To me she was an angel on earth, taken by the waltz of death by Father Time.
Father Time – A charmer, a teacher and a healer, but also an oppressor and devourer of all things. I can only guess how much time he will grant me to be with the ones I love. My own distance from my loved ones strengthens his dominion over me. I don’t fear my own death, for I know I will be with the ones I love once again, but to be left behind as I watch my loved ones wither and fade away is a vulnerability forced on me that I cannot bear.
As my child brings my thoughts back to the present moment, to the twinkling lights on the tree before me, I vow to not let Father Time intrude into my thoughts any longer during this holiday. He will continue his seductions and his destructions whether I choose to pay him any attention or not, so for now he isn’t invited to my house on this holiday.