Timing is Everything

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bigstock-New-Year-s-at-midnight--Old-g-54173342Do the people you love own certain times of your day – stalwart custodians of some magical clock?

I never meet a day or a coffee pot without remembering the sound of my father’s voice in the early morning.  I see him standing by the coffee pot, his greeting optimistic as dawn, cup in hand ready to reach it out to me, sustenance of so many kinds writ large in that eternal gesture of generosity.

My sister is my 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. delight for the day – my daily touch-base about life, business, politics, laughter, tears or being talked off whatever ledge life may have perched me on – a heart friend who’s shared so much of life with me, with such amazing grace.

CeeCeeMy daughter Cee Cee owns 1 p.m.  It’s the time she used to pull into my driveway on her way home from college, hoping to be early enough to pick Dakota up at school, so we could laugh about teachers’ foibles together, play crazy word games or share her riotous Robin Williams take on life.  Despite the fact that she’s been gone 13 years, at one o’clock each day, some part of my heart still listens for the laughter that always accompanied her flamboyant arrival.

Libbyanne, my dearest childhood friend, owns 5 o’clock on Fridays.  There was such comfort in that quiet voice of lifetime friendship that ended each week and somehow put it all to rest, all question marks about the trials or triumphs made handle-able by shared history and philosophy.  We met the first day of kindergarten and our friendship lasted more than half a century.  She called us the Country Mouse and the City Mouse because she never left New Jersey, married a man she met at 17 and taught severely handicapped children with all the patient generosity of her great heart.  For fifty years we ended the work week with a conversation.  Fridays are lonelier since she’s gone.

Dakota-GraduationMy daughter Dakota holds so many hours in her hand.  Truth is, nearly every hour of the past 24 years feels her touch.  Memories of Sunday mornings, learning to drive at the local cemetery  (trust me, it’s the safest place for such an enterprise!)  Rainy Sunday all-day movie marathons… sunlit Saturday afternoons on the garden swing, teacup in hand, dog sitting on the opposite bench  (and yes, Kumo loves teas as much as we do, especially if there’s an occasional ginger snap, too).  Then lately, 6:30 when the now grown-up woman on her way home from the office calls to catch me up on the latest news and laughter.

Time and Again

bigstock-Lovely-little-girl-playing-wit-48477419This curious time sensitive continuum of love and memory is sometimes joyous, sometimes bittersweet, always tenderly companionable, but it’s incredibly comforting on some cosmic level to be able to share my days and nights with those so dear to my heart, in so virtual and yet visceral a way.

I think there are still a few of my daily hours left unaccounted for.  I sometimes wonder if anyone will share them with me… or if they’ll just belong to me now, a not entirely unwelcome notion.  My work prospers in solitude and perhaps that’s what it’s all about at this stage of the game – the work that’s left to do.  Writing is one of the few professions you can continue as long as you can hold a pen, and I think there’s so much left to say.  If I’m gifted with enough time to share what’s on my mind and in my heart as best I can, I’ll feel greatly blessed by Fate.

bigstock-Time-passing-concept--montage-15364043Time, the sages tell us, is not as we imagine it.  Not linear and straight-forward as beginning/middle/end, but rather countless layers of molecular energy, all time happening at once but at different vibratory rates so that our awareness captures only now.  While real understanding of that concept is a bit of a leap of faith, I do know this much:  all time lives within us, always.  We are the great recording device that captures all the moments that have ever been for us and all the emotions those moments contained.  Barely a hairsbreadth beneath the surface, all memories remain, to be called forth by a sight, a sound, a scent, a single lightning flash of remembered love, frozen in time, safe-kept forever.

It seems to me that while the passage of time makes us vulnerable, the memories that time leaves in its wake make us unutterably strong.  And sometimes even wise.


 © Cathy Cash Spellman/The Wild Harp & Co. Inc 2014


Posted on April 12th 2014 in Death, Life

12 Responses to “Timing is Everything”

  1. Laura Ripans Says:

    Wow – Aunt Cathy – thanks so much for writing this about my mom, Libbyanne !! She’s my 365x24x7 ! Lovely article and I think everyone can relate. Love, Laura

  2. Cathy Says:

    Dear Laura,
    Your Mother, my Libbyanne, was a rare bird…I miss her very much and always will. It made me happy to write about her… I wish everyone could have known her. Much love, Aunt Cathy

  3. kristel Says:

    A wonderful reminder of how fleeting time is and how we should honour every minute. For sure the days seem to fly by faster and faster, a sign of getting older or is everyone experiencing this? Your blog brings up a few questions about some important people in your life who don’t seem to have a spot in your memory bank. Your mother? your husband? Is it denial, or you have nothing pleasant to recall at certain times of the day?

  4. Cathy Says:

    I’ve been divorced for many, many years, Kristel, so there’s no husband to write about and I’ve written extensively about my Mother in many venues. Glad you enjoyed my reminder about the preciousness of Time.

  5. Stevie Says:

    This really made me think about all the people I have lost in my life. Most recently, just one year ago I lost my dear father. He was my best friend and I miss taking care of him and more importantly his EXCESSIVE phone calls just to see what “Daddy’s baby girl” (I was 35!) was doing or to see if I’d come over to visit with him. I would do anything to have my phone ring just one more time so I could tell him I love him and him respond. Thank you for making me stop and think about what specific days and times belong to him.

  6. Cathy Says:

    Thank you for letting me know my blog touched your heart in such a way, Stevie. I understand all too well how much you miss your wonderful father…mine will be gone 20 years next September and I still feel just as you’ve described. How very lucky we both were to have been blessed with such fathers and such loving memories.

  7. Gerry Says:

    Cathy, I hope you will be able to hold on to your pen for many years to come. What a beautiful accolade to your family and friend.

  8. Cathy Says:

    Thank you, Gerry…it’s lovely to have a chance to share memories in this way…you and I have both been blessed in having so many to love. Lucky us! XX,C

  9. Jeannine Says:

    Aunt Cathy, Loved this! I miss Libby Anne’s phone calls too. When she passed the phone calls were the biggest void I felt. She loved to call to hear everything her new grandson was doing. She taught me the importance of reaching out regularly to my friends. Her son still does it to this day to his friends. Not many men do this but when he does not call his friends then call to make sure he is okay. Her legacy lives on. Keep on writing!

  10. Cathy Says:

    My dear Jeannine… I responded to your sweet note as soon as it was received, but my site has been playing tricks on me and I see the message to you (and to several others) was never posted. Libby’s legacy is indeed a beautiful one…it’s so wonderful to know it continues to spread love into new generations…she’d be so thrilled by that!

  11. Melissa Says:

    Cathy, as always, beautifully expressed. Loved the pictures of Cee Cee and Dakota, too. Keep wielding your mighty pen!

  12. Cathy Says:

    I can’t vouch for how mighty it is, but I’m grateful to be able to keep on wielding! thanks, my dear Lissa, for always encouraging and cheering me on. My site went a little wacky today and sent out three different blogs to people, one of them from Christmas, so I’ve decided Spring fever is in the air! Be happy and have a great Easter!

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