It was the wee hours of the morning. 4:00 am to be exact. The loneliness set in. My partner in crime was whisked away yet again for 11 days. These days seem manageable in isolation yet in combination lies the challenge.
The void that lingers. 11 days. 22 days. 33 days. When a year passes and you miss far more days than you have the sadness sets in. How much was missed? How much made the cut? Was it enough? Some weeks it’s a Monday that you feel the toll in life hit. Other weeks the sleepless worry hits on Tuesday. Sometimes it hits more than one day. It’s a vicious cycle.
Sometimes life puts obstacles or signals in your path to test your strength: to test your resilience. Sometimes these barriers seem impossible yet we find a way to push onward. I’m in the midst of reading the latest royal book, Spare. It’s odd to think about the word spare in the context of the book. A spare child. A spare heir. A spare to discard. No matter how many pages deep I am in the book, I will be forever held up by the word spare.
My life doesn’t have spares. I don’t have spare kids. I don’t have spare friends. I don’t have spare time with either. I don’t spare any part of my life. That means the time I miss can’t be spared at all. Oh the quandary of that latter statement.
How do you count time when you can’t spare time? You don’t. You wander through empty space as if time wasn’t associated. A wading of sorts. You are there but not really there. The shell of you is present but the mind space has drifted somewhat to a space in time that is all-inclusive of your special people. Drifting or wading through memories of past and memories to come in the future.
The book speaks to losing a mum. I have a mum. A mummy. A mommy. I certainly don’t have a spare mommy and I am certainly not a spare to my kids. Rather I’m present just like my mom. No matter the challenge I’m there. No matter the challenge she is there. But one day will Mommy always be there? The sad reality is no. For now I won’t spare my time as mummy or with mummy for it is valued. For those of you who don’t have that opportunity with your mum, my heart hurts for you.
With grief many occupy head space with memories of those lost but not forgotten. Sometimes that includes a mom. I reflect on this as a mom I know lost her battle with cancer this week. Her time wasn’t spared.
Many include the missing in future plans honoring their memories. Holding on to the happy times together. I do this often. My nephew. My dad. My good friends. Those gone too soon due to death, but there are others who leave for other reasons. Maybe a big move to a new city. Maybe an experience of a lifetime overseas. Maybe even a work obligation causing one to live elsewhere temporarily. Time away. A void that may never be replaced.
I may lose 11 days today. 22 days the next cycle or 33 the next round. What makes this particular trek difficult is the unknown. How long does time sit in this stage. Does it continue for infinity as it does with one who dies? Does it keep looping in terms of days or weeks as it does now? I can’t stay lost in the empty space of consciousness. I must shift.
As 2023 rounded the corner I shifted from the dullness of being lonely to a new mindset of lonely. One that isn’t perfectly designed as I’m in it. I’m just more aware. I’m conscious within the subconscious. I’m trucking through new obstacles in a different way. I’m not sparing time as time can’t be spared. People can’t be spared. Those important will never be spare at all. I’m valuing the front and center and focusing less on the loss(es).
None of us can reverse time. None of us can spare or bank time. Every week I will be present in my own little ways. Avoiding spare time. Spare people. Forging ahead on borrowed time. If there is such a thing.