Borrowed Time

Borrowed Time
Lisa Holt

This morning, I witnessed a mother receive the phone call we all hope we never receive.  Her son had passed away.  She crumbled to the ground like a hot air balloon whose air had been deflated, she screamed, she looked to the heavens, she clung to her husband only to fling herself away in agony.  I felt like an intruder as I witnessed the kind of pain no parent should ever have to bear.  It was almost in slow motion as I watched her fall to her knees.  Her pain was so raw, the look in her eyes was one of unimaginable hurt, a hurt she knew would never heal, and she would never be the same.


I have known others, mothers and fathers, that did the unthinkable and buried their children.  A son left for school one morning, kissed his mother goodbye but never came home, never returned to his messy room or the dishes he left unwashed in the sink.  Couples robbed of growing old together by cancer, Alzheimer’s, sudden heart attack, stroke or a car accident.


Our lives are so temporary, our minutes so finite.  This space we occupy is only ours for a short time. We are all truly living on borrowed time.  Yet we continue to make plans for tomorrow and I guess that’s human nature. It gives us hope and purpose.  We spend our today doing busy work, making sure the house is spotless and doing mundane chores like washing windows and drapes.  We are exhausted by work and an endless list of errands.  Is that what we want our legacy to be?


An older man once told me he wished he had twenty more years, because he was just figuring out this life thing.  He went on to explain how different the next twenty years would look from the first, or the last.  He could see the sand slipping through the hourglass and was helpless to do anything about it.  The only power he had over time was to spend what remained of his life living—to do the things he had put off, to be a part of life instead of just a life playing a part.  He said he was the happiest he had ever been, his only regret was that he hadn’t decided to live sooner.


Live now, in this moment, in this life, with no regrets.  Live full, live big, live loud, live this life because we won’t be in this moment ever again and neither will the people that are important to us.