Sands of Time

My mother died at 46 years old. I reflect on her age of death after my birthday every year. Her age, 46, is a number that stays with me and colors my perspective. I understand that I do not know how much time I have left on earth. I could have another four years-or another forty. I could have less than a week. I just don’t know. My time here is limited. And because of that, I know I cannot waste it. I can shoo away frivolous matters with ease. I remove myself from environments and relationships full of misery and strife with no hesitation because a gentle voice in my head reminds me:

 

Danielle, you don’t have the time for this.

 

And when I say I don’t have time for something, it is not borne from the typical false bravado and hubris that leads to such statements. No, when I say, “I don’t have time for this,” it comes from a place of deep awareness and reflection. It comes from sitting at my mother’s bedside on a mid-summer day, watching and listening as the life drained out of her. The breathing patterns of a dying person are dramatically different. When you hear them, you know the Angel of Death is present. On my mother’s last day, I listened to that. There was no medical intervention or prayer that was going to change this outcome. The sounds in the hospital room said it all; her breaths were running out. Her time was up.

 

One day, hopefully, a few decades from now, my time will be up as well. This understanding inspires me to live to fulfill my passions, walk in my purpose, and ignore the petty.

Posted by

A native Seattleite and recent East Coast transplant, I have been interested in politics, religion, and race from the day I saw “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” on the bookshelf belonging to my BFF’s mom back in 1991. While my zealotry has thankfully diminished with maturity, I remain the deep thinking, passionate, and humble woman I have always been. I reside in the suburbs of NYC with my husband, daughter, and our two feisty but deeply loved cats.

Leave a Reply