Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Cat Stevens’

The Irish Sports Page

“…Little Boy Blue and the Man In The Moon. When you coming home son? I don’t know when…”

None of us gets out of this life alive, eh? Here on the West Side of Cleveland the obituaries are known as the “Irish Sports Page”, read by all on a daily basis. My older patients like to joke that they read it each morning just to make sure their name isn’t on it. Old joke, but like all good jokes it cuts just close enough to the truth.

Typically a couple of pages, the “Irish Sports Page” is often 3 or 4 pages long for a week or two in early January. It’s funny how that happens, how so many folks simply will themselves another month or two, another chance to gather round the Yule Log, usher in another New Year. Those of us who are younger either wish for that one more Holiday together or are caught short in surprise when the post-Holiday departure occurs. Or both.

We all live on borrowed time, borrowed for yourselves and borrowed on behalf of our loved ones. Some teeter on the brink of ultimate disaster, each hour alive somehow cheating the Grim Reaper, every day a bit of a pleasant surprise. If this goes on long enough it’s possible to forget just how tenuous is the lifethread that secures that particular life. We can forget how thin is that one, fragile line if it holds firmly enough, long enough.

So it is that I find myself this year as a thread already thin begins to fray. How fortunate we have been, my siblings and I, on borrowed time for decades. How blessed to have our entire family, still, so long after the first calamity that we had begun to pretend that it would just be this way forever.

I have seen this play before. Indeed, I see it every January at work, every January in the Irish Sports Page. There’s an almost out-of-body sense, a “looking in someone’s window” feeling like Ebenezer Scrooge accompanied by the Ghost of Christmas Future. There’s a dull ache in my soul when I think of this coming January and the Irish Sports Page.

Time waits for no one my Brothers and Sisters. We plot and we plan and we offer “we really should get together”, and the seasons…well…they just keep coming and going. I am as guilty as you, as guilty as anyone. We put off our gatherings, “we’ll get together at Christmas”, and eventually Christmas stops coming. Prepare for a long life, but at some point, for someone who is important to you, life is short.

“…we’ll get together then, Dad. We’re gonna have a good time, then.”