Why do you leave without saying goodbye?
I wait for you to come, for you to pass, our fingertips brushing against each other in the narrow hallway of life. But when I blink, you’re gone, and I can’t get you back.
When I was a child, waiting for you seemed like forever. Christmas morning felt like it would never come. The school year dragged on, while I impatiently wished for summer. I dreamed of the day that I would grow up and be free of being thought of as ‘just a kid’.
But I blinked, and you were gone. I didn’t even realize how many times you’d passed by.
Now, I ask you—no, I beg you—please stay a while. Slow down.
Sit back, relax, put up your feet. Take a break from rushing through my life like a hurricane, sweeping away each day as the clock in my living room tick-tocks at me.
I look at my daughter and I can’t remember what she looked like as a baby until I pull out old pictures. I look at my son and wonder when on earth did he get so big. I look at my husband and see the crinkles in the corners of his eyes from the years we’ve spent smiling and laughing together.
Can you stay a while? Can you give me some more time to cherish what I have?
My heart can’t beat fast enough to keep up with you. It seems like just yesterday that my children still fit snug in my arms, that my son needed to hold strands of my hair in his little fist so he could fall asleep. My children are too big for me to carry now, and it hurts. It hurts so much knowing that my little bugs will never be that small again and that those moments with them are gone.
Sometimes when my children are sleeping, I find myself watching them, my gaze lingering on their faces as I try to memorize the way their long eyelashes tickle their cheeks and the way the tips of their noses curl up just the littlest bit.
I know that I need to be here—in the moment. I know that to make this life worthwhile I need to savor every little piece of each day, even on days that are so bad I just want to forget them. Yet somehow, when I try to make each moment last, you—Time—still slip through my fingers like grains of sand.
I remember hearing my children’s cries for the first time, and hearing my husband sob with me as we experienced their births together. I remember my babies toddling as they learned to walk and their big round eyes when I would play peek-a-boo with them.
If I hold my breath, will you stop, Time? Can I grab your hands and hold tight, stopping you from walking out the door and leaving me choking on memories I want to live again? Do I have to grip your coat-tails with white knuckles to get you to stop and just give me one small moment to catch up—to catch my breath?
But you won’t wait for me. I know that. You go forward, gaze ahead towards the future without letting me stay in the past.
I blink, and you’re gone.
You took it from me, Time. I take back all the moments when I said that I couldn’t wait. I can wait. I will wait.
If you just stay a little longer.