I Wish Life Had Brakes…
By Chris Palmer, M.A.
Just for a moment.
The kind of brakes you could mash down onto the floor any time you’d like.
So you could just stop everything from moving so fast, and keep everyone from getting older.
At night it hits me the most. So quiet. Just me, my thoughts.
And knowing that the lack of activity is a false front for the speed behind the scenes — every moment — as all of it moves forward, and in a way, backward.
Because I don’t want it to end. And as happy as I am now, I hate that there has to be an end.
Even faith in an afterlife still requires at least a temporary separation from the ones we love, and from all we’ve grown to love.
Why are we so gifted with connection and life and love, only to be forced to disconnect? My appreciation and gratitude are interrupted with the pain in my heart over having to say goodbye.
I have never known anything as beautiful and meaningful and worthwhile as love and connection. Despite my failures, I am loved somehow. And at my core — and maybe for everyone — it’s all that really matters.
So I say what my heart feels, expose the intensity of my overwhelming gratitude, and try to stay composed as my eyes flood — exposing the desperate man I am — trying to hold on to the beauty before it’s ripped away.
I hold my kids every moment I can. I hug my wife and shake my head that somehow I am allowed to raise these beautiful children with her.
They are miracles. And love is the source that makes every agony worth the pain.
I see pictures from not long ago, and the time travel shakes me. How could they be so little? And how can they be so big?
And where are the damned brakes so I can mash them down long enough to take a freaking breath.
I can be an adult about it, and make peace with reality. But I struggle.
I can hear Kevin Spacey’s voice in my head: “…it’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty…”
So much. My eyes are flooded. And my gratitude is all of me.
I don’t know where you stand on all of this. Maybe you’ve made a different kind of peace. Or maybe your heart beats bittersweet heavy — in love and sadness — at the enormous gift and how quickly it all goes.
Whatever you choose to feel or express, I respect your choices. We all have this immense freedom. It’s the choices that make the path.
One hug. One expression. One kindness.
One moment changes everything, and washes away the sadness that it all has to go by so quickly. It makes me hopeful, faithful, that there is more.
But no matter what happens, all of this is a gift. A beautiful, overwhelming, bittersweet gift that is worth whatever cost.
But I still wish there were brakes…