A few years ago my grandfather became ill. His name was Sal. He was a legend. The perfect blend of mafia and music, lover and fighter, sinner, saint. Father of 12. Genuine human.
His illness covered months of uncertainty but it was mid December when we began to see his life closing.
I tracked his digression from across country, torn on the timing of Christmas, work, and an impending flight to the Garden State.
I deliberated. Procrastinated. Was this really it or would we be back here in a few months. This is it, my dad informed me. The family is coming in. One by one he blesses the arriving famiglia. His room becoming sanctuary, bed is altar
Ok. I get it. I buy my ticket. My bags are packed. I'll fly out in the morning.
But I didn't. He passed away, my dad said. I missed it, echoes through my head. By a day. There would be no second chance at this.
You only live once and not everything happens twice.
I found some solace from the haunting vowing I'd be there for my grandma. Wife of a legend, matriarch.
How's grandma doing? Fine. Not great, but doing alright.
Ok. Because I'm going to be there when the time comes. By the bedside.
Did your grandma pass away my wife asks. What? Your aunt just posted that she passed.
She went in for a broken hip. And then it was over.
There's was no chance to be there.
Life is not an endless dispenser of moments. It's limited. We miss much of it. Guilt doesn't amend. We move forward. We live presently.
And we learn to appreciate the value of life the more we lose.