Time. Time after time. If I could turn back time. Sign of the times. Take your time.
We sing about it. Stress over it. Dwell on it. They say “time heals all wounds” (yeah right). We reminisce about “that time when”. We learn how to say “what time is it” in multiple languages. How many times a day do we say “time”. It’s a magazine. It’s in the headlines of newspapers and names of tv shows. It’s everywhere. Our lives revolve around it. Literally.
It’s a savior and an enemy.
As I sit and get a pedicure (a girl absolutely needs 45 min to get pampered every once in a while), I wish I could slow down time just a smidge to make this pampering last a while longer. And then, of course, on the opposite end of that, at a time when you’re waiting for results, waiting for a visitor, waiting for 4pm on a Friday you want time to speed up so you don’t have to wait longer then desired. How can the same thing bring so many different emotions? Something that has existed since the beginning of…time…bring happiness, relaxation, comfort, joy but also worry, anxiety, fear, and sadness.
Time is such a strange thing. It’s seconds, hours, days, weeks, months, and years. And when you’re dealing with grief, those measurements often times don’t matter. One second without your loved one can feel like one year. But at the same time, one year can sometimes feel like only one day.
I have an app on my phone that pulls your photos and any social media posts you have from that exact date one, two, three, etc years prior. I love opening the app and seeing what I was doing on that day in the past. Who I was with. Where I was. Recently it’s become more and more real that no pictures of Quinlan will ever come up again from one year ago (and inevitably, the future will continue to widen that timeline). It doesn’t seem right in so many ways. It’ll take me a few seconds after not seeing a picture of Quinlan from one year ago and not think “oh weird, I didn’t take any pics of him a year ago today” (because let’s be real, most days for those 2 years 5 months and 1 day there was at least one picture taken of him). And then I realize it’s because one year ago, he wasn’t here. Damn time. There it goes flying by again. Cher got it right “If I could turn back time”.
Time when you have a child, nevermind a sick child, and throw in a medically fragile sick child is counted in more ways than one. How much time will it take to get to the hospital? How much time will this appointment take? And the dreaded, how much time do I have left with my son? We still have his schedule hanging up in our kitchen.”A Day In The Life Of Quinlan” is still the headline. It’s an hour by hour breakdown of what we needed to do for him. 8am – meds (4 to be exact), 11am – stop feeds, 2 pm – 4 more meds, 3pm – start feeds (just to give you a few hours of the day). I remember constantly looking at the clock and basing the time on what meds would need to be given next, how much time I had until his formula needed to be turned off or refilled. The time aspect of our abnormal life was huge. There are still days I look at the clock at 7:50pm and think to myself that in about 5 minutes I need to go get his two nebulizer treatments ready and fill his two syringes with Keppra and Trileptal. And then we would have a two-hour window that we could relax on the couch with him before having to do it again at 10pm. But that’s not our life anymore. That time has been shortened. Something that will undeniably happen with every chapter of our lives. Time gets shortened and time gets taken.
So, Father Time, while there are many issues I have with your creation, I would also like to thank you. For the moments at 2am when everyone else was asleep and I could sit for hours alone with Quinlan and soak up the time with him. For those times after work when the front door would open and Quinlan would stop for a split second, knowing that Bear was coming up the stairs. For the years of research, classes, and studying that scientists, doctors, nurses, and therapists spent making the time we had with Quinlan a little bit better than it could have been before. For all the time we continue to feel loved, supported, protected, and far from alone in our unique situation.
Now, is it time for wine yet?