Lately, I've been obsessed with time. I think my obsession is mostly due to the realization that my "babies" are starting kindergarten. I'm not sure where the time went. In addition, I have the nagging feeling that I've missed a great deal along the way. I seem to be constantly outpaced by life, work and herding (of my children). At the end of most days, Mark and I collapse on the sofa with the sense of barely surviving another one. I often wonder, as one day speeds into the next, if I am making the most of my time. I suspect that I'm doing a poor job of appreciating the gifts in my life.
I'd like to think that I had some appreciation of the gift called Eileen Scott who inhabited my life for a brief time. I certainly appreciated her wit. I appreciated it so much that I made making her laugh one of my personal goals (okay, perhaps laugh is an over statement; smirk or chuckle was about as good as I got).
The more I got to know her, the more I appreciated that beneath the stoic exterior lay a vast capacity for passion and love and loyalty. There was never any question in my mind about Eileen's attachment to St. Margaret's. Even as her strength began to dissipate, she was thinking up and planning ways to help to her church community. From the church's sound system to the rummage sale, to the budget, to her friends, Eileen's thoughts were often of and with us.
It seems that in a very short span of time Eileen went from "not feeling so good" to "not going to survive." Before I knew it, there was no time left; she was dying. I wondered how much time I spent worrying and working with Eileen that I could have spent laughing with her. I wondered how many opportunities I'd missed to express my appreciation for her and her gifts. When I left Eileen for the last time, I said, "Eileen, if I don't see you later, I'll make plans to see you later; wherever later might be. Save me a seat." She smiled.