Friday, March 1, 2013

Friends For All Time

Thought for the day:  Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.  [Rich Warren]

Here we are. It's that time... time for the much-anticipated Back from the Future bloghop, the brainchild of those three blogging beauties SuzeNicki, and Mary, who were obviously determined to make us think. Thanks, ladies. It was quite a challenge, but it was also fun.

Okay, so here's the set-up:

You're up before dawn on a Saturday when the doorbell rings. You haven't brewed your coffee so you wonder if you imagined the sound. Plonking the half-filled carafe in the sink, you go to the front door and cautiously swing it open. No one there. As you cast your eyes to the ground, you see a parcel addressed to you... from you.

You scoop it up and haul it inside, sensing something legitimate despite the extreme oddness of the situation. Carefully, you pry it open. Inside is a shoebox — sent from ten years in the future — and it's filled with items you have sent yourself.

What's in it?

(See. I told ya it was thought-provoking.) And here's where my thoughts led ...


I slowly lift the lid, and tentatively touch the rose lying at the top of the box to see if it's real. When I stroke the velvety petal, it releases a heady sweet scent.

My hand shakes as I pick up the flower, and uncover a fading photo of Gale and me from my wedding day. We're slightly tipsy, and smiling from ear to ear. She's holding a bouquet of yellow roses —  symbolic of friendship, according to the florist. The perfect flowers for my best friend, and maid of honor. I smile back at the picture and set it aside.



Then I pull a round tuit from the box, and smile again. So silly. It looks just like the one I gave Gale when we were college roommates. We exchanged them as a reminder to always make time for each other.





Tears fill my eyes as I stare at the last item in the box. I don't want to open it. I don't want to, but I must. My hand is trembling, but I reach for the memorial card...

... and there it is, her name, printed in unforgiving black script lettering. Date of death: March 1, 2023. Tucked inside the card is a note obviously written by my hand: You're running out of time.  Her mind is slipping. 

I close my eyes, and let the tears fall. Then I blow my nose and reach for the telephone.

"Hey, stranger," I say when she answers. "It's been way too long. How about if I drive down and pick you up for lunch?"



++++++

Much may be done in those little shreds and patches of time which every day produces, and which most men throw away.  [Charles Caleb Colton]

Don't wait. The time will never be just right.  [Napolean Hill]

The bad news is time flies. The good new is you're the pilot.  [Michael Altshuler]

                                     So, what might be in YOUR box?

                       Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.






127 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I'm glad you liked it, luv. Now, blow your nose and get back to bed so you can get rid of that nasty flu.

      Delete
  2. You are a wonderful story teller! I shied away from this theme --a most imaginative and intriguing theme-- because, like Dickens' Scrooge, "Ghost of the Future, I fear you more than any spectre I have seen." But you have done something brave and beautiful with it. my compliments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, dude. I do appreciate it. I kinda figured you would've happily jumped into this bloghop and twisted time around in some delightful way as only you can do. Um, not saying that you're "twisted", mind you, but, um... never mind. You just have an intriguing way of looking at the world.

      Delete
  3. Your box held a very poignant and thought-provoking gift for us all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. My friend Gale died several years ago, but she'd love that I'm using her name to illustrate how precious time is.

      Delete
  4. That's beautiful. It's certainly made me think.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very thought provoking. I shall spend some time and ponder over it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to hear it. I'm not very good at doing much in the way of actual "exercise", but I do enjoy poking at the gray matter. (My brain is extremely slim and toned...)

      Delete
  6. Very touching. I love the clock. The time is now, we should enjoy it, use it, not always be putting things off because there may not be another chance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Yeah, you're right; "now" is all we can count on.

      Delete
  7. That gave me shivers.... Every second is precious...how dare we waste it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Uh-oh. Not the shivers. (You didn't catch the flu from John, did ya?) Seriously, you're right. Time is our most precious commodity, but too often we waste it on inconsequential stuff.

      Delete
  8. We are all guilty of putting things off for another day. What I have learned in the past few years is never to put off time with friends and loved ones. The days go by quickly and you can't get those opportunities back.

    I love the way you write, Susan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we're all guilty of procrastination, especially when we're young and think we have forever.

      Thanks. Glad to hear you like my writing. (So I can count on you to buy a couple hundred copies of my book when it comes out?)

      Delete
  9. Geez you are all nice
    Giving yourself thing that have no price
    I would be more
    Greedy at my shore
    Throw in a some lotto numbers or two
    Of course when I won I'd share at my zoo haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I care not too much for furs and gold
      Or treasures thought sublime.
      In fact, if the truth be told,
      What I revere the most is time.

      Delete
    2. To both of you..... great rhymes. Let's hold Pat to it when he wins the lotto. Ha ha

      Delete
    3. HA! Sounds good to me, but if he wins, I think he expects us to come to his "zoo" to share in the bounty.

      Happy weekend.

      Delete
  10. Very beautiful Susan...this kind of writing creates a reaction in the reader.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Creating a reaction in the reader is exactly what most of us hope to do.

      Delete
  11. Oh, you went for the gut with this one. Nice reminder. Time is precious.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Lovely entry! Very poignant... you really gave me something to think about...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Brought back memories of the time I've wasted on twiddle-dee as I neglected friends, thinking they would always be here. Nope, I'm about the last man (well, woman) standing. Kind of a dirty trick.....they're off together having a good time again and I'm stuck with the memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes, but you're still living life to its fullest and making new memories, dear Manzi. But I know what you mean. So many dear friends... like Gale... have gone ahead without me.

      Delete
  14. Very nicely done, Susan. And I love that "NOW" clock. Do you know where it's located?

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, dear sir.

      I found the clock on perfectlytimedphotos.com

      The webmaster was most gracious when I asked for permission to use it, and I suspect would be happy for you to use it, as well.

      Delete
    2. "Dear sir"?

      Who are you talking to?
      Susan, it's me, it's me - it's Stephen T.!

      Ha! Funny. You took my question the wrong way. I wasn't inquiring about the website where you found the photo. I meant, do you know where the actual clock hangs? State, city, business?

      But since you simply found the photo on that website, I don't imagine you know where the real clock is (and there may be many of them in various places).

      I'll bet you know what time the clock says it is though, eh?

      I wouldn't mind having a copy of that clock hanging in my house. Pretty cool reminder about what time it REALLY is.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    3. HA! What can I say? I'm polite.

      Sorry I misunderstood your question, but now I have the right answer for the right question. If you do a Google search for now clock, you'll find a number of sources to buy one. Cafepress has some for as little as eighteen bucks. (If you're not familiar with that site, I think you'll like it.)

      Delete
    4. SUSAN ~
      Hey, thanks for the follow-up to my follow-up. And thanks for letting me know on my blog that this was here on your blog. I had forgotten that IT WAS TIME to return here. I had decided to do it later even though the time was NOW.

      Yak Later . . .

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    5. No problem. So here's me following up to your follow-up to my follow-up on your follow-up... OY!

      Take care. Later.

      Delete
  15. wow. must rearrange priorities. always need reminding. thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We ALL need reminding from time to time, and thank YOU for stopping by.

      Delete
  16. Lovely. And moving. Thank you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Very nicely done. You pulled me in right away!
    I wnat to know what happened...
    ~Just Jill

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Just Jill. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      Delete
  18. I love the Altshuler quote, particularly at the end of your story, Sus. You really put a lot of thought and heart into this post, dear friend. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like that quote, too. Yeah, you gals really did make me think, but it was enjoyable. Thanks for coming up with such an unusual idea for a hop.

      Delete
  19. Beautiful inclusions in your box, and a wonderful way to remember your friend.
    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. My friend would have been tickled.

      Also, thank you for signing on as a new follower. I do appreciate it. Welcome aboard!

      Delete
  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Nicely done! For myself I would send a list of winning lotto numbers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good one. Then you'd have enough cash to run for public office. (Better move to a different state, though.)

      Delete
  22. That was so sweet. You made me tear up. Those were great treasures to get.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm glad you liked it. And thank YOU for hosting this neat bloghop.

      Delete
  23. Oh my. How heart warming and sad. You made me cry. But in a good way.
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Lovely! Thanks for the reminder that each day and each friend is precious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, it's a reminder that has to be rebooted from time to time.

      Delete
  25. Oh, this made me get choked up, Susan. So touching!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Julie. I'm glad it connected with you.

      Delete
  26. I already wrote my answer on another blog, it went something like this: I would be 83 then, so probably a flannel nightgown, a couple of good books, but probably there would be no books, only pads, or something like it, and some furry slippers.

    I loved your tribute to a friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you plan on being prepared for a cold spell, huh? What about global warming? How about a bathing suit? Um, never mind. I don't want any parts of a bathing suit, either.

      Thanks. I'm glad you liked it.

      Delete
  27. Loved this post. Such warmth and love. Well done, you!

    ReplyDelete
  28. That's the second post that I've read today, that has had me crying.

    This is such a moving piece, that allows us to remember that we should make the most of our time with our loved ones and that every moment is precious. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry. I'll try to make ya laugh next time. :-)

      Delete
  29. This was beautiful! Lovely job!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Ohh, that was very sweet. Sad, but happy too that you have a friend who's meant so much in your life.

    Great quotes & clock picture!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nicki. And thanks for hosting the bloghop. It's been a lot of fun.

      Delete
  31. You done good! Such a powerful message...for everyone! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, DL. Always nice to get a pat on the head from the maestro.

      Delete
  32. Beautiful and thoughtful memorial- makes me feel happy that Gale had you as a friend xx Love that yellow rose :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lily. Sweet of you to say. I'm more than ready to start seeing some yellow roses like that blooming in the garden, aren't you? Happy weekend.

      Delete
  33. Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. You have a super weekend, too.

      Thanks for signing on as a new follower. I do appreciate it. Welcome aboard!

      Delete
  34. Very thought provoking!

    Yes, the cynic in me has sending myself the winning lottery numbers; the romantic thinks of sage advice regarding relationships.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, why choose? You'd have a whole shoe box to play with, so you could do BOTH!

      Happy weekend. I sure hope it's warmer there than it is here. Winter has decided to have a go at it, just when we thought we were in the clear for another mild year.

      Delete
  35. Excellent post. That's a valuable reminder!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Awesome quotes. Really! I copied them to Facebook. Hope you don't mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad ya liked the quotes. Why should I mind? Might as well share the wealth. So to speak.

      Delete
  37. I liked those time quotes, too. I almost teared up at the Remembrance card. Losing anyone close to us is hard.

    Thanks for the follow on my blog, Susan! Nice to meet you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm afraid my stack of Remembrance cards is getting much too tall.

      Thanks so much for signing on here as a follower, too. Welcome aboard!

      Delete
  38. Hi, Susan.

    How beautifully written. SO full of emotion.

    LOVED the time quotes. I really enjoyed your post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, kind sir. I do appreciate it. (Aw, shucks.)

      Delete
  39. What a wonderful post - yours is the second that gave me goosebumps!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. And thanks for signing on as a follower. (I can't read Martian, but I'm pretty good at copying Morse code... HA!) Welcome aboard.

      Delete
  40. Next to blue carnations, yellow roses are my favorites. I'll think of you and Gale now when I see my yellow roses blooming on the bush next to my front door. A round Tuit; I haven't seen one of those in years! So awesome.

    Now, I must go away and visit a box of Kleenix with that ending. I hope all is well in your world today Susan.

    ......dhole

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Better to be associated with yellow roses than with crabgrass. (Although Gale and I DID eat quite a few blue crabs in our time...)

      All is well. Happy weekend to you.

      Delete
  41. This was touching...I hope your friend has more than ten years though.

    Following back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I'm glad you liked it, but my friend actually passed away almost three years ago.

      Thanks for signing on as a follower. Welcome aboard!

      Delete
  42. Susan, thanks a bunch for stopping by and dropping me a comment. I'm really glad you did or I might have missed you and this amazing post.

    Love your writing and compassion and more than happy to follow along for the ride.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure, Mark. Half the fun of these bloghops is getting to meet new people. Thank you, dear sir, and welcome aboard!

      Delete
  43. Great story. There is no time like the present.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thanks. Yeah, you're right. Maybe it isn't a coincidence that "present" and "gift" are synonyms.

    ReplyDelete
  45. What a great tribute to your bff! And a great tribute to living in the moment.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Oh, but I loved this tribute. BTW, I get misty-eyed, too, when I think about time slipping away and things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I'm glad you liked it. Best thing we can do is carpe the heck out of the diem.

      Delete
  47. Hi Susan,

    Thought I should get "a round tuit" and comment on your thoughtful and profound posting. Although this comment is actually from the future, I've dropped into the now to let you know that this tribute was heartfelt and has left me with a reflective moment before I go back to the future. Thank you for this, Susan.

    Gary....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi-ya, Gary. So glad ya found one of those elusive round tuits. The darned are getting scarcer all the time. Whether you're coming or going, future or past, it's always nice to have you stop by. Later. Earlier? Now? Whatever.

      Delete
  48. Wow, that's one sentimental box! (I need one of those round tuits!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, we could all use one of those elusive round tuits, but unfortunately, they're harder and harder to find these days.

      Delete
  49. That packed quite a whollup for a short piece. Damn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Damn. Thanks. I'll take that as a compliment.

      Delete
  50. you have such a soft side that is uncanny. loved it!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Unfortunately, at my age, I have a LOT of "soft sides", but I'm really glad you liked the post.

      Delete
  51. Sniff, loved your post, Susan. Made me smile one moment and grab for Kleenex the next. Plus, you managed to work a lesson in there too—great quotes. Well done, you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, VR. I do appreciate it. And welcome aboard! Thanks for signing on as a new follower. I didn't see a handy dandy gadget to do the "usual" kinda follow on your blog, so I signed up to receive it via email. We Atlanta transplants have to stick together.

      Delete
  52. This was beautifully written Susan! Thanks for reminding me about the importance of friendship, and you even threw in a bonus poem in the comments!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Julie. I'm glad you liked it. And you even read the comments... I'm impressed! (I do, too. That's how I end up spending so much time on Blogger!) Take care, kiddo.

      Delete
  53. Wow! You have inspired me to pick up the phone and make a couple of long overdue calls. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww. That makes me feel good. (Hey! My phone isn't ringing...)

      Delete
  54. Oh, wow, what a moving post. I love your choices.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Well that really pulls at the heartstrings.

    ReplyDelete
  56. This was so heartwarming. I loved it! Those quotes are so apt! I'm going to give my loved ones a call now. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much. I do appreciate it, and am thrilled if the post inspired you to make some calls.

      Delete
  57. This was beautiful and yet tragic. So sorry for the loss of your friend - I know how hard it can be! I totally agree that every moment we can spend with our loved ones is precious.

    ReplyDelete
  58. All that we truly own is time. Everything else is illusion and relatively unimportant. Your story has set my butt in perspective, so thanks for that, Susan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Laura. You're right; that's all we really have. When we're young, we think we have an endless supply, and when we get older, we realize that it runs out, and it's never enough.

      Delete
  59. Very touching. Love it. Time is so precious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you liked it, Liz. And I was very glad to hear your book signing went so well in Chicago. YAY, you!

      Delete
  60. Such a wonderful post, Susan. You are truely a gifted writer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Linda. Coming from a writer like you, I'll take that as high praise. Thanks for making my day.

      Delete
  61. Aw, wow Susan! What a tearjerker! Nicely done! *scuttles off to call bff*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Glad to hear you're calling your bff. That makes me happy. (Her, too, I'll bet!)

      Delete