I never had a grandfather, at least not one that I met.
I only heard stories, and when I did, I felt as though I missed out on something…
See, life moves on regardless to whether you or I agree. Otherwise, if decisions were left up to us it would never rain. Traffic lights would never turn red, and snowstorms or cold weather would only exist when we wanted them to.
No one would pass on. Mothers and fathers would always be there when you needed them, and the word divorce would never exist.
If the decision were ours, grandparents and perhaps even great-grandparents would never die. And if this were the case, then I would be able to see the stories I was told instead of hear them.
If it were left up to me, I would have met my great Uncle Moey. I would have seen the jewelry shop where my grandfather worked.
If it were up to me, I would have seen the inside of Ebbets Field and watched the Dodgers play when they belonged to Brooklyn. Of course, at that time baseball was more religion than sport.
And if it were up to me, then I would know what it was like to taste a hotdog with mustard, onions, and sauerkraut, and sit between my father and his father before him.
Life moves. This is fact.
And if it were up to me, I could pause time just so I could hold on for a moment longer. I could inhale every aspect of every second…
There would never be a missed opportunity, and I would never miss the chance to say goodbye, or I love you.
However, the truth remains; it is not up to me.
I compare time to the long mane of wild horses; it flows in its own way, and if you get the chance to hold on to something, then hold on tightly, because God only knows if that chance will ever come again.
I suppose this is how we learn hold on to our own, fleeting existence. I suppose this is why we celebrate births and weep in sad times. This is why we hug a little tighter and talk longer.
If it were up to me, the woman I love would have no sorrow.
My child would never fall. She would never scrape her knee on the playground, or fall from the swings.
If it were up to me, I doubt either of them would ever cry or feel a second of pain.
There would be no need for doctor visits or shots.
If it were up to me, the scar beneath my daughter’s chin would not exist and she would never know what it means to have stitches.
She would never break a bone or be afraid of the dark.
If it were up to me, I suppose hospitals would go out of business. There would be no such thing as I.V. needles, or crash carts.
And except for child birth, there would be no reason for emergency rooms.
But the truth remains; it is not up to me.
If it were up to me, I could have touched my Cousin Robbie’s hand and the cancer would have left him. My Uncle Alan would still be alive. The Old Man would still be around, my mother would be healthy, and there would be no such thing as disease.
Life moves. This is fact.
Our past is our path, which leads us up to here and now.
At this very moment, a child is being brought into this world.
As we speak someone is leaving, someone exhales and another will inhale.
Like the ocean tides, life is always moving in or out.
This is how the earth breathes….
And since I cannot hold onto a second longer than it exists, and since I cannot stop time from moving, then let me hold onto this moment with all that I have
Let me decide to change…
let me help
let me build
let me create something, like a life, or give to somebody who can save one.
Let me love.
Let me rage ………….and feel what it means to be alive.
Since I cannot change the terms of time, or bring back those I miss, then allow me the chance to remove one word from my life:
Let me live
let me breathe
let me learn so that when my time comes, I can rest like a child, and smile in the palm of God the Father.