[Originally written on July 13, 2011 but finished today. Well, it still seems unfinished but I'm posting it anyways]
Last week, I had a birthday, and it got me thinking.
Yesterday, I found out my neighbor who is my age died at a party the night before, and it got me thinking.
Today, I went to the Shepherd Center, and it got me thinking.
I started thinking about time.
Like time, there's always time
On my mind
So pass me by, I'll be fine
Just give me time
How quickly time does pass. When I was my younger sister’s age, one year meant seemed like forever. Being 20-something felt so far off. It seemed so old. I remember in third grade thinking that by mid-20’s, I’d be working, married, and established.
I am none of those three. And that’s okay. I am just making a point about the absurdities of time.
When we were going through the Shepherd Center, I was reliving memories—good and bad—that I had during my stay there. My former doctor and therapists recognized me and when I told them that I was there two years ago, their mouth dropped when they realized how long it had been.
My neighbor who passed away was also so young. “We saw him mowing the lawn and running just the other day,” my family kept staying. “He would always take care of our cats when we would go out of town.” Death is a thief that robs people’s loved ones without any warning or preparations. Life and time are such fragile things that must be protected and valued above all other things.
The other day when my youngest sister was sitting in bed next to me reading, I thought about how she probably doesn’t remember me being able-bodied. She probably only knows “wheelchair Hammad”.
There is no time: there is no time for grudges; for arguments; for unhappiness; for hate; for all things negative. We need to let go. We need to stop keeping people around us that make us unhappy and stop doing things that we know are self-destructive.
Being in a wheelchair sometimes makes me feel like a silent observer in the world around me, like I am sitting still while the world around me is running around at great speeds. I wish I could just slow things down. Put a hold on time.
There’s always time. On my mind. So pass me by, I’ll be fine. Just give me time.
It’s time to let go.