Live For The Moments

Live for the moments. 

When I was 12, I had decided to go wandering on my own without informing my parents or brother where. Of course, I’d known I’d catch hell for it later, but at the moment I hadn’t cared. I needed alone time. I loved my family and still do but there are some times where they are the last people I want to see, let alone be around.

So after having been cooped up all weekend, I set out like a miniature Indianna Jones. I braved the puddle filled streets of rainy Virginia all the way to the little park 15 blocks from home. There, I made my way over to the swings, sat down, and pushed my feet back and forth. I remember it being quiet.

Dark, quiet, and peaceful.

Until, a teenager came by and sat down next to me. (I don’t remember much about the individual, it’s been so long I doubt I’d ever recognize him if i ever saw him again, but I do remember thinking he had to be in high school. Possibly 17?)

He started swinging next to me while I slowed my swinging to a stop. I was ready to leave. I knew all about Stranger Danger and after watching so many episodes of law and order, I knew my life could end in a number of colorful ways if I didn’t get out while I could.

The swing finally stopped.

And I got up.

And right before I dashed away, I heard the words vibrate through the air, chilling me to the bone.

“Moving and breathing is not the same as living.”

Ragged breath. Then more words followed.

“No matter what everyone shows you, no matter what everyone tells you, no matter what you see, and no matter what you tell yourself, they’re not the same thing. So why do we believe they are?”

And that’s when I ran. I ran for several blocks until my sides ached. I was so close to home when I finally came to my senses, stopped, and walked the rest of the way. I never gave another thought about the incident till years later when my dad was in the hospital.

My dad was sleeping in front of me and I was propped up in an extremely uncomfortable chair, keeping watch over him while my mom and brother went home to sleep. I was bored and grumpy. I wanted to go home too and I couldn’t get why I was the one who had to stay the night with him. Why was I there? I had been watching him for the past several nights and I was tired and oh so bored. Books weren’t enough, the hospital food tasted more dull every time I visited the cafeteria, and my dad was set on watching episodes of The Virginian or soccer games, whenever he was awake.

deserved a break.

I deserved to be able to go home to my own room. I deserved to be able to change and shower at MY home and not at the hospital. I wanted to go home instead of waiting for my mom to bring me clothes and money everyday. I was sick of smelling sick people and I was so tired of all the white walls.

I watched my dad with slight anger. Why me? I saw him twist and turn in his sleep. I heard him mutter and let out slight groans. I figured he had to be having a nightmare and I decided not to wake him up. I felt like being a bad person. It was immature and cruel, but I wanted him to continue to suffer the nightmare. In a way, I felt like it was payback for making me stay here at the hospital for days and never getting to go home and rest. But, then my dad woke up by himself, moaning and holding his stomach. And that’s when I knew something was really, really wrong. He was crying and he was gasping and spluttering my name.

I was shocked. Horrified. I heard him whimper “Help!”. And so I ran out the room and yelled for a nurse, someone, anyone who’d help my dad. Thankfully, the nurses patrolling our floor were only 2 rooms down and were within earshot. I felt myself pushed to the side as they fast walked into the room over to my dad. I stood in the corner of the room, staring as the nurses did something to him. I pulled my phone out, called my mother, and begged her to come to the hospital because something was terribly wrong with dad. I don’t even remember when I started crying, but at least by the time two doctors had poured into the room,  the tears were already drying on my face.

My father’s intestines had opened, again.

It was a terrifying experience and something I don’t want to live through again. But, it was then when I remembered the words that teenager had spoken to me long ago. And it was then when I finally understood what he had meant.

Living is not the same thing as moving and breathing. You can breath, talk, walk, and wave your arms all around, but are you really living the life you have? Are you truly alive?

In one moment I could have been separated from my father forever. It made me think about whether I had ever showed my dad I loved him or appreciated him. If I had ever spent enough time with him? If maybe I could have tried enjoying his silly tv shows a bit more.

Then, I reflected on how he lived his life. Would anyone miss my dad? Yes, so many would.

My dad was/is the kind of man who does live for the moments. He is a prankster, a giver, a helper, and especially a non-judger. Often times he’s been tricked and taken advantage of and yet he doesn’t stop caring. My dad isn’t just another person on the planet, going through the motions.

My dad lives.

And what would the world be life if no one lived? What if all the people who were spontaneous, who took the time to pick up others and dust them off, who did things for the hell of it, who smiled real smiles, who enjoyed the little things, and who cared enough to help those that no one would ever look twice at, just left? What if the people truly living their lives and not just breathing and moving from place to place, disappeared? What would be left?

Robots, that’s what.

And a world full of robots would essentially….rust. 

And who wants to live in a world full of rust, dirt, and dust?

Not me.

So live for the moments, because if you don’t, that’s one more robot trudging the earth.

Because living isn’t just breathing and moving, it’s feeling, it’s being, it’s trying, it’s never giving up, and it’s accomplishing dreams. 

So are you living? 

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Posted on October 14, 2013, in Down Memory Lane, Miko's Corner, My Blog, Quotes & Bits of Wisdom and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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