My son, Caleb, was especially sad to see me go today. He asked if he could walk with me out to the car, to say goodbye to me there. He wanted every remaining second with me. Curbside, he immediately started crying, telling me and pleading with me, "I don’t want you to go, daddy. Please don’t go." I clutched him tightly and with each release, he said the same thing.
When mommy came to the rescue, I let him slip through my fingers and into the momentary void between her arms and mine.
As I was driving away, I was wishing that I could have hugged him one more time, that I hadn’t let him go. This is just a domestic flight, a short trip, but would I ever see him again? You never know when the last day is ordained. Was that why it was so difficult for him this time?
The security screening process at Denver International Airport was very disorganized this afternoon. Only two scanners were open, but with six different lines feeding them. People were taking every opportunity possible to cut into the lines. My patience was nearing its end.
The tall skinny guy in front of me, however, showed much patience. He didn’t seem to mind that multiple people had edged in front of him. When he took off his shoes, I noticed that he hadn’t worn socks. His long, bony feet seemed a little awkward walking on the shiny granite floor.
In an instance, he crumbled. He fell backwards towards me. I had just placed my bag on the rollers and couldn’t get my arms around him fast enough.
He slipped through my fingers.
His head hit the granite with such an impact that the sound echoed around the hall. Sprawled on the ground and barefoot, he looked like a corpse.
I’ve seen many deceased people before. I’ve held people in the days before they have died. I have never quite seen somebody drop right in front of me though. That was a first. Was it a massive stroke? A heart attack? Did the impact kill him? Could I have caught him? Should I have paid more attention instead of being ticked off at all the people that had cut in front of me?
The world is full of distractions. We never know when the limits of our mortality are reached.
Too many opportunities slip through our fingers. Too many eternities slip by unnoticed.