As she looked at the date and time she vocalized her relief that the pain would soon be tolerable once more. The only time the pain will subside is when the medics bring her in and the hospital tries once more to change the circumstances. 3 years of suffering, jumping hospitals, and being told there is no hope for her tumor and weak heart makes her anxious.

Her plan was to move to a small, quiet town to take it easy and enjoy her early retirement years. The big jump from the West Coast did not land her the peaceful time imagined. Shortly after her move she discovered the diseases and problems. Her life is not the life she had planned; she is still young. Visits to the nation’s greatest hospitals still cannot help her. Her case is unique. Her case is rare. She is dying slowly. The tumor is eating her blood. All that is left is time.

You see it is not that I know this lady very well; I actually just met her this week.  It was her perspective of time. The moments that make up her time are what grabbed my attention. While checking her vitals and hearing the stories I realized she is a mother, a friend, an adventurer, a grandmother, a cook, and a strong lady.

All the while the young grandson wonders why his grandmother cannot eat dinner with him. The brother wants to know why the doctors cannot treat her. And she wonders if her time is being spent right. She sees time.

How many life-shattering events does it take to realize that time matters? Our life is made up of 1,000 buckets full of moments-some sad, many painful, and others are flat out dreadful. Other moments are filled with joyful smiling, bright sunshine and long happy days. Life is a combination of moments; each moment evolves from time.

This lady currently fills her days with moments preparing herself for tomorrow. Every day she wakes up is a good day. Every weekend that her grandbaby wants to come stay with her is a good weekend. Time. It is the time she has left that matters.

The past memories help to keep a smile on her face, but the moments she is living now will pass down to the next generation.

Time matters when others are involved. Time means something different when you see a smile on a dying face or a feeling of hope when saving them. Moments of time that bring joy to others or accomplishments for a greater cause make the negative moments scarce in the current bucket of moments.

So, when does time matter? In every moment. Every single moment takes time in a day. Actions, thoughts, and words fill those buckets of moments for you and all of those around you. The time you neglect to give others is written down in that bucket, or the time you willingly give matters so much that it can replace it. Time. We all have it; the effectiveness of our time depends on how we use it.

-A paramedic’s daughter

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