By Ashley Lopez
A common saying is: time flies. Oh boy is that true. Getting old doesn’t scare me. What scares me is the pace of how quickly time goes by. Another factor that freaks me the hell out is that sometimes I don’t pay attention during important times. Reflecting on this had me ponder how I began to know when a moment is actually significant. As I’m getting older, I am able to appreciate and pinpoint these situations. Moments of love, fear, gaining wisdom, and spending time with elder loved ones.
I have let so many moments slip through my fingers because I was too immature to know that one day, I’d wish I could have held onto every detail more. Every attempted lesson that was given to me. Every special moment of being with a wise elder, though at the time I was just bored out of my mind and wanted to be elsewhere. Every cooking lesson I never paid attention to. Just—everything. I wish my brain was capable of holding onto it all.
I wish I had paid more attention when… I don’t even know where to start. What the hell was I was doing when I wasn’t present in the moment? I swear, my brain just gets all mushy. I don’t remember half the things I should nor understand where the hell my head was. Now I’m almost 26 and desire to remember all the recipes my mom and grandma taught me without having to call them. All the novelas I watched and walks I went on with my other grandma before she passed. All the ‘women talks’ I had with my godmother.
When my grandma got diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, I was pretty calm. At the time, I didn’t think it was that big of deal until she couldn’t cook anymore or go on her daily walks. Then, the worst came. She had a stroke and continued to have them for the following 5+ years. I wasn’t there enough. I wasn’t paying attention when she was barely diagnosed with the disease in the first place; I didn’t try to spend more time with her even though I knew she was sick. I was in high school and didn’t find this predicament super relevant. I didn’t care to listen to her all that much when she gave me ‘life lessons’ when she was lucid. I couldn’t even bear to be alone with her when she got really sick. I couldn’t stand how I felt. Can you believe that? How I freaking felt. When really, she’s the one who needed me after all the support she had given me.
Looking back at this just made me realize to soak up moments that may seem irrelevant just because I feel bored. I’d like to say I’m more mature now and I know when a moment is relevant. I hold onto to these instants, reflect on them, and forever treasure them. My grandma is constantly coming to me in my dreams; I’ve dreamt with her at least five to ten times. I constantly ask her for forgiveness, and I think this is her way of telling me ‘it’s okay, I’m okay’.
Time may seem unimportant when you’re younger and just worried about boys, having a good time, and friends, but I wish I can go back and tell myself to just give myself patience and understanding of all my missed opportunities for becoming more wholesome.
Thanks for reading, xo.