Give Me a Little More Time ...

But what minutes!  Count them by sensation, and not by calendars, and each moment is a day.  

~Benjamin Disraeli

These days, I find myself constantly asking for more time.  More time to spend with my daughter, more time to spend on my husband, more time to spend on work, more vacation time, more down time, more me time, more sleep time, more gym time, more reading time, more family time, more social time ... 

Tonight I'm trying to focus on the time I actually have, the time I actually have had, not the time I wish I could have.  

Because I'm faced with the hard fact that I can't change time.  I can't buy more time.  I can't save time, or stretch it, or bank it.   I have no more, no less time than anyone reading this post.  The passage of time is measured in equal increments for us all.

Time is no different for me than it is for a third grader, for a corporate CEO, for a single mother struggling to hold down a full-time job while bringing up four kids on her own.  I have the exact same number of hours in my day as an Olympic gymnast, a socialite, a refugee, a doctor, a philosopher, ...

But what do I do with the time I have?  My challenge and my struggle tonight is to make sure I transform the time I have into moments.  Time will pass, but the moments remain. 

It's not as easy as flicking a switch and saying I will use my time more wisely.  I am struggling with time tonight; I am thinking about my Dad.  Wishing I had more time to spend with him.  Wishing I knew the right 'time' to go and see him.  Hoping the oncologists he sees this afternoon will tell him he has too much time left and will outlive us all.  Wishing I could buy him more time.  Wishing I could buy us more time.  Wasting my time agonizing over the passage of time.

I know my Dad will not get more time.  But I also know he still has time.  I still have time.  And no matter what the oncologist's prognosis for my Dad, the time he has left will tick by at the same pace as mine.  

Being so far away from him, my head tells me I have to start reflecting now on the moments we've had, and those we can still have, rather than pining for lost time or continuing to wish for more time.  

And we've had such a wonderful time making moments.  Moments over the years filled with laughter, and understanding, and knowing silence, and pride, and excited chatter.  Moments filled with sadness, moments filled with love.  Moments that made memories.  

Time spent enjoying a meal, singing a song, sharing a dance, laughing at a joke.  Time spent mourning the loss of loved ones, time where he consoled me, time where I tried to console him.  All this time spent making moments that will live on forever in me.  

More recently, time spent with him in hospital.  Time spent talking to him and joking with him on the phone.  Time spent just taking in the sight of him over Skype.  Time spent praying for him.  Time saying I love you.  And I know it's not time that has shaped and sustained me over the years, it's the moments.

And now the time has come to face losing him.  And so it's easy to slip into the cycle of praying for time while cursing its passage.  I don't want this time to turn into 'the' moment I know it will inevitably become.

I'm not ready yet, but I never will be.  I will never be prepared for my Dad to die.  So tonight, as I lay my head on the pillow, I know that despite everything I've written above, I will say a prayer, and it will go something like this ...

"All I'm asking for, God, is just a little more time, enough to see him again, enough to say a proper goodbye, enough to share a few more moments, enough to make a few more memories.  I'm still his little girl.  I'm not ready yet.  Please, God, just give me a little more time ..."

Father Daughter Sunset

Father Daughter Sunset