If you asked one hundred people what they believe to be their most
valuable resource, you would likely get a multitude of answers, however I
think that the most recurring answer would be: time. We live in a very
fast paced world where so much happens so fast. We are expected to
perform tasks more quickly than ever before, we expect results and
demand is very high for our time, seemingly in every direction that we
turn. In a world of high speed internet, mobile voice texting, ten
minute oil changes; lest we forget, microwave ovens and so much more, we
still cannot get a grasp on our time management. All of the wonderful
technical advancements did not save us any time, they placed more
demands on our time. Remember when you could buy yourself a day,
perhaps even two with the old adage, "It's in the mail" ? No more!
Along came the 90's and we were expected to click the send button on our
keyboard and transport it instantly. Nothing seems to give us more
time. We all have twenty four hours in each day however for some that
will never be enough.
Time is like money, most of us seem to
use what we have. Thinking back, I actually recall a time when I had
more money than time. That may seem like a positive complication to
many, however it was not and I quickly learned that lesson. Today I
find myself with some time, time at least to think. As I spend much of
my time traveling, it is just me and the road and my mind jumps from
thought to thought. Much of my time is spent thinking about - time.
Thought of what to do, how to spend my time, planning the days ahead,
thoughts of the future for my children...thoughts, thoughts, thoughts.
If only I had the time to follow through with many of them.
Over the past few days I have spent time with tears in my eyes thinking
of a young boy of ten years with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) who
has very little time left. Ten years ago his parents welcomed a
beautiful baby boy with a full life ahead, today they cling to each
moment, each breathe. They know that their time with this sweet and
precious boy is limited to days, perhaps even hours or minutes. Sweet
Mitchell certainly is not the only kid facing the challenges of life and
death, there are many and for all of them I ache. Mitchell is an
example of an extreme case of DMD, one in which his battle is with early
and certain heart failure. Most parents dealing with DMD face it with
the expectation of their child living at least into their early
twenties. Obviously our hopes are for much more, many more years, a
cure or at least a treatment that delays the progression. On the other
end of the spectrum is my dear friend Scott Sands who is my age. Also
with DMD, Scott has encountered many near death experiences however he
is alive as evidenced by the blog he writes titled, Scott Sands Alive.
Scott realizes and is thankful that he has beat the odds and has enjoyed
life at least twice as long as most people expected of him. Scotts
brother lost his battle with DMD at the young age of fifteen. I know
that if you asked the family of Scott or Mitchell the importance of time
to them, it would rank very high on their list. Both of them have
lived a life of extreme uncertainties with respect to time.
Most parents look forward to each milestone with their child; the first
steps, the first tooth, the first day of school, high school graduation,
college, engagements, wedding, etc. As for me, I would be perfectly
content if time could just stand still. As I look at my Garin and see
where DMD has taken us so far, I just want to stop it here, accept where
we are with it and savor this moment in time - forever. Time is not on
our side. Time will not stand still. Time can be cruel. Knowing
all of this has taught me some very valuable lessons in life. Dealing
with Garin and his DMD issues have given us a glimpse of life that many
people never have until it is too late. It has given me a better
appreciation of time. I realize that time with everyone is limited.
Hilton, my thirteen year old is perfectly healthy, athletic and can do
all the things that Garin cannot, however I realize that all too soon he
will be away at college. It seems such a brief time ago that we were
like most first time parents, doing all that we could do to prepare for
this special new addition to our family. Today, Hilton is taller than
me, and towers over his mother at six feet tall. As I reflect on this, I
cannot imagine where thirteen years have gone. Appreciating and
making the most of each day is our challenge. All of those momentous
milestones with children are wonderful events however I seem to live for
the day. I have often said to those that ask how I deal with all of
the medical issues, I can handle any of it - today. I can only think
of today, not next month or next year or even next week, but only today.
I know that I if I can get through today and make the most of this
day, I can tackle tomorrow and also find joy in it as well.
~ Written by Gary Stepp, February 15, 2013Today - that reminds me of one of Shannon's Life Lessons, lesson #3 - Focus on the Day I'm On - Shannon who passed away from cancer a year ago, she continues to be a light and example to my life.
And also, why worry? Worry is the facade of taking action, but PRAYER really is. ~ From the Book One Thousand Gifts.