Lifetime Guarantee

It’s rare for me to be in the same room with my mother and my daughter — three generations who live in different places and in different time zones.  Yet there we were together, gathered for a family event, chatting and casually looking through a newspaper together.  

My daughter noticed an ad for luggage which boasted  “lifetime guarantee.”  “Whose lifetime?” I quipped.  I looked around the table aware of our remaining lifetimes, statistically, anything from 15 years to 65 years.  My mother tilted her head, “Is anything really guaranteed?”  

I nodded in agreement.  Having worked with grieving individuals for over 30 years, I can tell you that neither health, wealth, happiness — nor longevity — is guaranteed.

Our family reunion highlighted impermanence.  As we reflected on longevity and looked through old photo albums, I thought, Who are these people in the photographs?  The little girl is now a stunning young woman sitting to my left.  The young mother is now a stunning elder sitting to my right.  I, in the middle of the intergenerational chain, feel amazed and grateful that we all three are together in this moment.   

In that moment of sweet sadness, noting the running river of time, impossible to freeze, I realized that the NOW was all I had, all I’ve ever had.  I  surrendered to that precious vignette, a string of prized moments, honoring each precious sweep of the minute hand in my heart.  A lifetime of irreplaceable, impermanent moments . . . . guaranteed.

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