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August 22, 2013 / Meredith

In The Blink Of An Eye

I spent last weekend with my family at the lake.  One day of that weekend marked the seventh anniversary of my brother’s death.  His death.  He was thirty-nine years old when his lungs decided to explode inside him.  It’s surreal to think my younger brother isn’t alive anymore.  We prefer to think he moved to Texas and is too busy to keep in contact with any of us.

Driving home from the lake in a convoy with my parents behind me we came to a stop light.  I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the reflection of my mother.  She looked hollow, small, drawn, and old.  It struck me that she is indeed old.  People my age have mothers who are dead.  Long dead even.  I’m lucky to still have my mom, but boy, that day her face looked nothing like I remember it.

Yesterday I witnessed a terrible car accident.  An SUV going straight rammed into a van making a turn.  The tires screeched on the pavement, then came that sickening sound of crunching metal and breaking glass.  Not only did the two vehicles collide, the van ran right into the corner of a building.  I thought to myself, if I had left the parking ramp thirty seconds later that could have been me.

Today marks the beginning of the 2013 Minnesota State Fair.  My dad will be working there again, as he has in various capacities for the past forty-eight years.  He’s eighty years old and kind of broken.  He has a sad heart, a paralyzed lung, rickety bones, and a flighty brain.  He has had a love affair with carnivals and fairs since he was young, so, so many years ago.  He wants to be in the thick of the action; alas, his body may not allow him to experience it the way he wants to.  I can only hope his body will merely survive another year.  He moves so slowly, and breathes so heavily.

There was a theme running through my whole week.  When I think about these things I remember Charlotte’s mantra:  Tempus fugit, man.  Tempus fugit.

The End


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