THE CIRCLE OF LIFE

by olivia black

There are only a few givens in this world. One of them is no one lives forever. We are blessed with a family for a relatively short time, in the grand scheme of things. Some children are lucky enough to enjoy their parents into retirement, and some lose parents as early as childbirth. It's a random twisted plan beyond our control or understanding. The important takeaway is to take advantage of each conscious moment you're on this tumbling rock together with them.

My father checked out just before his 56th birthday, and Mom shortly after her 67th. As a busy business professional, I was too wrapped up in myself, my career, and my family to understand their presence was temporary. I never got to ask them all the questions I wanted to ask because I always assumed there would be a tomorrow. Bottom line - I have a very incomplete understanding of the two people who brought me into this world. And believe me, I regret that with every day that passes. The more I think I begin to understand this world. the more I realize there are severe gaps in my own being. And that's completely my fault. I was 29 when my father passed away. A full-grown adult. It was entirely my fault I didn't find the time to talk with him.

Call your mom. Have dinner with your dad. Video-record a conversation with them on your phone so you'll capture his and her voices and images for the future. Fortunately, I did that a few times, before the smartphone era too. When things get tough in the real world, I'll pull up that video and watch my own family unit, pretending for a moment all is well, and all my people are still here. A little escapism does wonders. Try it for yourself.

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