Tempus Fugit

Time has become even more valuable since the pandemic. Before it I was allowed to visit my mother, a resident of the Christadelphian Care Home in Bannockburn, Stirling, as often and for as long as we both wanted. However, at the start of the pandemic, I was not allowed to spend any time at the home whatsoever. Now I am allowed to take one member of my household for a one hour visit in her room once a week. This time slot must be booked on an on-line appointment system. This makes the time incredibly special and must be carefully planned.

Recently, my daughter and I mapped out our expedition to Bannockburn. We agreed on the time to get up in the morning, then the time to leave the house, the trains have an hourly frequency whereas before they ran every half hour. We needed to catch a bus at Stirling bus station to continue the journey. Our plans were executed beautifully until we stopped for a snack and missed the bus by seconds. I was filled with panic that we were going to be late. I looked at my “bus app” and realised that the next bus was not due for some time and had a more meandering route than the one missed. We would be extremely late, and I did not want to disappoint mum or put the staff out by arriving after our agreed time.

Plan B, get a taxi to complete the journey. It is more expensive but much faster. We ran to the taxi rank nearby. The drivers were standing by their parked cars gassing, blethering, chewing the fat (engaged in idle chit chat). I sensed a frustration in myself as I wanted to finish my journey and be as close to on time as possible, but these drivers appeared in no hurry to start work. After a minute or so, which felt even longer to me, the driver of the first taxi in the rank walked to his car and we got into the back. Before we could let him know where we were heading a woman walked past the rank. Our driver called out to her “Aunty Mary”. They then began a conversation as if we were not there. We could not help but overhear that she had moved home during the pandemic, and it appeared they had lost touch with each other. I desperately wanted to interject that we were in a hurry to make our appointment time. I never did as I was being too British. Then I him heard give her his news that shocked me like an icicle down the spine. He told her that “he had the big C” a euphemism for cancer. This driver was a man who urgently needed love and support. I realised my frustrations and focus were all wrong.

So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

We went on to have a lovely hour with Mum, with my timely lesson learned.


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