My sister-in-law Dinah used to say, “The hurriered I go, the behinder I get.” I often think of this quote. I’m always in a hurry to check off the items on my to-do list. I’m in such a hurry that (as scary as it is) the to-do list doesn’t always make it to paper.
My volunteer life has kicked back in full force. Unfortunately, the yard didn’t get that memo so we’ve been mowing a few days after each shower when the lawn is dry enough. At first, my mower needed a new battery, then Harold’s mower broke down.
After a hot, sweaty time outdoors, I went to check on my flowerbed at the front of the house. I walked around to the garage and both doors were down. I really didn’t think Harold would lock me out on purpose just to prove that I shouldn’t go outside without my cell phone as he constantly nags me to do.
I went around to the front door. The doorbell should get his attention, but the doorbell has been broken for quite some time. I knocked knowing that he couldn’t hear me, but the dog would. Sure enough, she got her “company coming” bark going and eventually Harold came to unlock the door. What nerve. He chewed me out for being locked out without my phone.
After several days of clicking items off my calendar—Thursday happened. First, a zoom call with our Walk to End Alzheimer’s committee. Check. After a half-hour, I had to leave that call for a conference call with my Alzheimer’s advocacy group. During the call, I mentioned the futility of trying to contact my congresswoman for a district meeting before the Advocacy Forum. Jerry told me he had a contact and would try to set up a meeting. Check.
As soon as I ended that call, I drove to town for a visitation for a neighbor. Outside the funeral home several veterans solemnly held American flags. I wasn’t sure I was going to stay for the funeral until I looked at the program and saw the song choices. I knew this wasn’t going to be an ordinary funeral when I saw the songs were “House of the Rising Sun” by the Animals and “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.
Gene was a Vietnam veteran with two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. He also enjoyed Mountain Man re-enactments and working on a forge. He was dressed in his mountain man clothes and several of his friends showed up in their outfits. A few of his friends shared amusing stories and fond memories of Gene. One recited a Native American prayer. At the end of the service, the veterans filed down the aisle and saluted. It was a touching, unique, and personal send off.
After the funeral, I returned home. My husband told me he couldn’t get hold of anyone at the congresswoman’s office. Foolish me, I thought he was trying to get in touch with her office for me. Instead, he was calling about another matter. While we ate a sandwich, his cell rang and I saw the number of her office. He chatted with Steve about his issue and I motion frantically for him to not hang up. Harold handed the phone to me and I told Steve who I was. “I just talked to Jerry,” he said. I proceeded to go over the Alzheimer’s Association federal priorities with him. Another task finished.
After walking the dog, I headed off to my businesswomen’s club meeting. On the drive home, I breathed a sigh of relief that I had made it through the hectic day.
After a year’s lockdown, I wanted life to return to normal, but maybe just a little more laidback. After all the funerals and memorials I’ve attended lately, it makes me realize how precious life is and how being in a hurry to get things done can interfere with life’s little pleasures.
My mental checklist needs one more item: relax. I need to take time to smell the flowers, pet the dog, play my uke, and visit with family. I need to slow down. Hurrying through life is way too tiresome.
Copyright © May 2021 by L.S. Fisher