I know that it has been a very long time since anyone has heard from this Garden Goat. This summer 2015 raced by and included the ending of this goat’s external employment at a corporate communications position held since 2003. Instead of a full run down on all that has happened this summer, I just thought I would jump right back into the fray. So here goes…
As always, it is crazy at my house. I scurry through my day trying to pack as much in as possible including a variety of impromptu activities driven by the on-the-fly needs of the small village I am currently trying to raise. I am always hoping to get enough time to get everything done so that I can afford a couple of “fun” hours. Some of those hours are with which to pack up the littlest of the offspring and head over across town to where my mom lives in a nursing home and have a visit with her.
Wait, someone is on the phone, it is a teacher. I guess I had better turn the car off and let the kids out of their car seats, this call is going to take a few minutes. Well, now I understand who did not complete homework (and who may likely serve jail time in their adolescent years). I have made notes to help the child improve where possible and profusely thanked the teacher for taking the time to call. (Also noted to be sure this teacher receives painkillers as part of their Christmas stocking delivered to the school from this house.)
Now everybody, back out to the car.
No, wait, the dog is barking, and that lady in my neighborhood is about to have the by-law officer incarcerate me for real. Run inside and get the dog in from the back porch. Finally some peace.
Back out to the car, now one of the little people needs the bathroom, okay move the whole show back inside and do a round of bathroom visits. This activity will likely include plunging at least one toilet, hunting around for toilet paper (the teenagers used it all up) and probably one change of clothes for someone.
Good, we are all ready to go, back out to the car and into seatbelts.
Someone forgot to shut the house door, and our little dog has just run off down the street. I bribe an older child to remain standing guard over the car (lest I waste any more time taking little kids in and out of car seats). With the car now secured, I run like an idiot down the street, all the while sounding like a high-pitched version of Mickey Mouse. All is in the hopes of attracting my run-away-pooch back into captivity (the leash in my hand). Someone’s car alarm is competing with my canine calls, and sadly, my little white dog has now disappeared into the distant bushes.
Forget the dog. I will get one of my other kids (of the high-school student variety) to mission all over the neighborhood making these ridiculous sounds while I escape with the younger kids, who are still sitting in the car. Teenager kid can track down the missing critter.
Suddenly realizing that the car alarm is, in fact, my own car’s horn, as the small fry thought playing with my key-chain and auto lock panic sounds would be fun. (!!!) My neighbor lady can now call by-law for reasons other than my barking animal.
Finally, I am back in the car; everyone is in seatbelts.
I go to put the gear into drive, and just then I remember.
My mom is no longer at the nursing home waiting for me to visit. She is now in Heaven and watching me running around trying to make time for everything including visiting her.
So many times I could have visited my mom but opted for the perfect moment to do so. That moment in time when I could round-up everyone, (when no one had colds) after I was “sort of” caught up on chores (including playing chauffeur). Only once everything was done in my busy life did I feel could I squeeze in a visit with my mother. My life has not changed; I am still super busy. Just now, my mom is no longer across town waiting for me to visit.
My mom was 86 years old. Her mother and mother before her lived well into their nineties, the latter till almost 100 years old. Somehow, deep in the recesses of my brain, I thought I had many years ahead to cram in those visits around all my busy moments (and as I age, perhaps less busy moments). Life abruptly taught me otherwise.
My mom was reasonably healthy. I had visited her eight days before her fall, the one that led to her leaving this world. In that last visit, my children had brought my mom a “Froster” from Wendy’s as a surprise. Mom sat among her older friends (one was 100 years young) as they looked on in envious approval as my mom enjoyed her frozen treat. I have great memories of that summer Sunday afternoon.
Due to a head injury (resulting from a fall), my mom went swiftly from stable health into the loving arms of her Creator, in what seemed to be an instant. Forever halting any and all visits in the future, I thought I would get around to having with her and my children.
I painfully learned that time waits for no one, and I must change how I do business accordingly:
- I will invite others over even if the house isn’t tidy or the occupants pleasant.
- I will leave housework and chores at the level where they belong…a necessary evil but they ought not to be the focus of all my waking hours.
- I will call people because I was thinking of them and not worry if they are busy (or worse yet that I might be bothering them).
- I will answer mail and email right away instead of always waiting until I have time to craft the “perfect” response.
- I may let my dog (and older kids) find their way back on their own without staying behind to use my guardian angel superpowers.
- Instead of waiting until the house is clean before I draw or read with my children, I will just make the time regardless. (Perhaps that is how we will start chores, by doing the fun stuff first).
Most of all, I will make every moment, the perfect moment, regardless of what else is going down around me.
I will remember forever, that I will never know when it will be the last time I will get to be with the souls I treasure. So I will make whatever time I have on this planet count, with those I love.
The Garden Goat