I brought in the New Year at home which is quite common for me. I rarely go out New Year’s Eve for the simple reason that I can’t drive and the majority of people I know with a license either had to work or had plans of their own. As one calendar year faded into another I was struck by how anti-climactic it was. After all the debate surrounding the Mayan calendar and the recent tragedies in the names New Year’s Eve was uneventful at least in my part of the world. I guess what they say is true, time marches on whether we think it should or not. Several years ago I had to request a copy of my high school transcript, when I went to pick it up I noticed a memorial garden and branch that had been placed in memory of a classmate of mine who died just before senior year. I remember hearing the news of his death and that my grief was solid and heavy in the pit of my stomach. I also remember that the grief twisted and snarled around me like heavy links of a chain, and I suddenly had an idea of what Jacob Marley‘s ghost must have felt like.
Do not mistake me, my grief lies not in the fact that I knew the young man well, rather, I grieved for opportunities lost. I did not know him half as well as I would like and even though he was in and out of the hospital continuously because of a heart condition the fact that I didn’t know her mom is my fault alone and that is one of my major regrets in this lifetime. Later I asked my cousin who’s going to school there at the time if she knew anything about the boy with the memorial. She informed me that to her and to most of the people she knew at school he was nothing more than a name. I almost cried.
This year is my 10th high school reunion. I still haven’t decided whether to go or not but I can’t help wondering if my classmates remember him. Tempus fugit. Time flies they say, sometimes I think it flies too fast, carrying with it thing that should be remembered along with things best left in the past. This year is my year to remember. I will remember to thank before I speak, book before I leak, I will remember what others forget. Most of all I will remember the importance of “I love you” because you never know when the time you thought you had will suddenly run out.