Thursday, October 9, 2008

The human condition is to expect the world around us to stay the same.

We think that things we cannot see, people we are not in contact with on a daily basis, places in our memories... all will be there. All will stay the same. The next time we come in contact, all will be as it once was.

It's a disappointing jolt to the system when something reminds you this isn't true.

I've experienced this lesson now in several different ways.

The places that you just always expect will be the same... places that aren't subject to the constant change and demand of the city... Places like Mundheim.

In my head I always expected Mundheim to be the same. The population to be at about 40. The same houses, the same roads, the same mountains. Yet, last time I was there... there were new things. There were tour buses... there were tourists with them. There was new infrastructure.

If it can happen in Mundheim... nowhere is really safe.

Then there are people. We all have loved ones we don't see as often as we'd like. We mean to write, we mean to stay in touch... but life keeps you too busy. It's difficult to find the time... and besides, that person will always be there.

Then one day they're not.

You don't expect it. You get that phone call in the middle of the day that just drops out the pit of your stomach. Makes you think about where you should have placed the importance on with regards to time.

I got one of those calls yesterday. Someone that I just expected would be there, someone who I don't see that often, someone I loved dearly. Someone before their time and far too young. A family friend who I'd known all of my life. Who babysat me when I was fresh.

Somehow I just never considered she wouldn't be there. Now, she's gone.

To say the least... It was a jolt to the system.

This year is the fifteenth anniversary of my aunt's passing. My aunt was 29 when she was taken by leukemia. She was young, she was beautiful, she was vibrant.

She was gone.

She would have been hitting her mid 40's this year. I have a vivid imagination... but I cannot imagine my aunt in her 40's. In my mind she'll always be young and beautiful.

My aunt had two best friends. As I was the first of my generation... and they were all 12 or 13 at the time I was born... I knew them well. I've never known three friends who were as close and stayed close as the three of them. To me, they were big sisters... They were family. They were special.

When my aunt passed... it was a huge blow. To me, to my family, to her best friends. It was unexpected. It was unfair. Things within the family were never the same again.

Yesterday, I heard the news that one of her best friends was gone as well. It was sudden, no warning, nothing to prepare for. Just gone.

When I heard my mother's voice as she was telling me... I knew that someone was gone. But I never would have guessed who. Because even though it's been fifteen years since my aunt passed... This is still too damn young. One would think if there was any sense to this world, after suffering a tragedy like the one that happened in 1993... the closest around that would be immune. They'd be free to live happy extended lives.

Unfortunately, that isn't the case. Which personally I know all too well.

Patty, I will miss you. You were important to me.... and as always, I wish I'd had the chance to say that one more time.

Our limited lifespan is too damn short even when you get to the elder years... When one doesn't make it there... It's a travesty.

It's a reminder. Things will not always be the same. The people we love will not always be there. So we have to have to remember to take the time with what's important.

I was asked recently when the last time I'd cried was... and I really couldn't remember.

Now I can.