Only trouble one can’t find a solution is death. Only thing life has for certain is death. Death can come slowly, as for an elderly person, tired of living and ready to reunite the ones who had lost in the past; leaving enough memories in those who leaves behind. But death can also come quickly. It can even surprise the most alive person you have ever met. It can surprise him in the garden, one Sunday morning just after coming back home from a soccer game. One normal day. One heart attack. One free fall and that’s it. Just fifteen minutes between saying “I feel dizzy” and leaving the world; just like a García Márquez’ novel. Without warning nor preparation. Without saying good bye.
That’s how I recently lost a very dear and close family member. I don’t think we are still fully recovered from the shocking events; and even less we are accustomed to his absence. What we have for sure is that life has changed completely and has taught us some lessons in the road. I still think God should figure out other ways to taught us some lessons than to take us away the privilege of having someone we love around. But like one of my uncles said “God’ time differs of our time, we are unable to understand it and it is useless to try doing so using our yet limited human logic”.
Our complicated, modern lives, are filled with many spheres. There is the work sphere, the political- country sphere, the world sphere, the one filled with acquaintances we mistakenly think they are “very important to us” and so on. We easily get lost between those spheres and do not realize what’s really important. We spend an incredible valuable amount of time, worrying about little relationship fights and quirky looks at work. We spend nights awake imaging possible catastrophic events out of political decisions being made here and there, away from us. We invest another amount making sacrifices to reach higher and higher: studying, then working, then doing off curricula activities during the weekends to engross our CV, then applying to grad school… And between this and that, we lose our perspectives, we do not realize what’s really important.
We think that what’s really important is going to be there forever. That you will always be able to gather the ones you love for a barbeque or that you always have time to simply live, smile and have fun… “but right now I have to take advantage of this opportunity…” You think they are going to last forever and they are always going to be there for you. That you can always knock at their door and they will open his arms to welcome you.
But that’s not true. While we are busy caring for other “important” things, time goes on and does not ask nor waits for you. Time is an independent entity. Time is not concerned about you, whether if you are ready or not, if you have shared enough with them or not. One sunny day time simply ends.
I’m sorry. I’m grateful for the time we shared together but I’m sorry for the time we missed. I’m sorry I skipped so many lunches, trips and meetings you invited me to under the same old excuses. I’m sorry sometimes I didn’t stayed longer at the ones I did went. I’m sorry I locked in my room studying while you were home. I’m sorry I answered you the phone impatiently because you were interrupting something. I’m sorry I criticized you as much as I did, because I took your jokes too personal sometimes. I was never mature enough to admit you did made laugh, a lot. I’m sorry I never realized of how much I loved you, until it was too late.
If I only knew how this story was going to end, I would had acted differently. I would have rushed to take us a picture together the last time we were dancing an ugly Vallenato; just one you and I, laughing. I would had pay more attention to your work, which I never did because I was too proud to respect it enough. I would have come to appreciate your terrible cooking.
I promise to never lose again my priorities. I promise to always keep in mind what’s really important. I promise not to waste my time worrying about little fights, silly work issues, and even, yes, politics and our not so dear revolution (you hated it as much as I do, that’s for sure). I promise to not take family and the ones I love for granted. Because life is brief and does not have guarantees for anyone; not even for you who always seemed the healthiest, happiest, youngest and most alive of all of us. I promise to learn from you; from the good, bad, and ugly things you did; from the tiny footprints you left in pictures, videos, writings and memories.
I promise to embrace life as it comes, even considering that life, as I know it; will be completely different from now on.