The Unknown of Your Last Time
By: Lanisha Porter
There are two significant dates we will be endowed with in this life: our birth and our death. One marking our enrollment in this life, and the other celebrating our graduation to a new place. Generally, it is up to us to make the time and experiences between those two dates mean something.
Suspicious that he knew her, I noticed him steal free glances at her as though he was trying to conjure up a name for who she may have been.
A week or so ago while accompanying my mother to an appointment, I found myself waiting in the lobby. Like my own mother, I watched patients arrive for their appointments—some being seen, some being asked to call their insurance company to inquire about coverage, and some poking good fun with the very amicable staff behind the desk.
I sat beside an older man who jokingly complained of aging, and insisted that his daughters were born with their hand out feeling very entitled to his wallet. He provoked laughter from everyone who was within earshot of him, including myself.
As it had continuously been the past 30 minutes of my waiting, the door opened and in walked an older woman who sat beside the man who neighbored me. Suspicious that he knew her, I noticed him steal free glances at her as though he was trying to conjure up a name for who she may have been. Though my attention was seemingly directed in my phone, I was acutely aware of my surroundings. Checking to see if his suspicions served him right, he suddenly asked her, “Aren’t you... Barbara?” The woman excitedly responded to him by name confessing that she thought that was him.
One day we are all young enjoying the seeming invincibility of our youth, and then the next day we can only rely on pictures or memories to be the time capsules beholding some of our best moments in life.
Immediately they began to make up for lost time. And there I sat listening to two dear old friends who’ve run into each other in the waiting area, after a lifetime, catch up. It was literally the most beautiful episode I’ve seen. It truly realized time for me. It reminded me of those two dates, and how important it is to live life and completely cherish the margin of granted time in between them. The years will go by; people will succumb to their dates with mortality; things that you’ve known will change; and people will assume different walks in life. One day we are all young enjoying the seeming invincibility of our youth, and then the next day we can only rely on pictures or memories to be the time capsules beholding some of our best moments in life. I was so amazed listening to them travel down memory lane. I found myself a bit saddened hearing them inform one another of the passing of childhood friends and family members. Yet, I too, was cheered with light-hearted laughs from them challenge each other about who had the most body replacements between knees, shoulders, and teeth.
Being young can sometimes feel like a shield to death. We ignore its constant closeness and delay doing what we can today for tomorrow instead. We postpone apologies over pettiness, we complain about what we dislike but we often forget that at any moment it could all be different. That family dinner that you dread will someday be the last. That thing you wish you would’ve done will become a regret. That friend you use to talk to everyday could become a distant memory.
Time is powerfully transformative. And we can only hope that one day, if it be Gods will, that all roads will lead to the same path giving us a chance to reminisce with old dear friends we may have lost touch with. The chance to reattempt the dreams we let fear paralyze and make dormant. To love those aloud who we sometimes neglect with silence. That wait in the office was so enthralling, much to my surprise. An indelible reminder, at the age of 22, to use the time between birth and death wisely and intentionally...for we may never know the unknown moment when we will be called to graduate from this life.
Lanisha Porter, 22, is a Manhattanville College alumnae and authors "Things I Never Talk About." She is also the empowerment blogger of "She Wrote", women's right enthusiast, motivational speaker, and proclaims herself to be an ambassador for empowerment. She currently directs a youth enrichment program in Louisville, KY entitled Urban Youth Rock!
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