Time and wisdom are eternal

The Old Man on the Bench
Anne Danielle Gingras
Available on Amazon.ca

** reprint of a text I wrote in 2018 after my Father’s passing. It resonated with me again this morning …

Last night, after running around all day for different things, I spent the night in my beloved River House bunkie. It had been a day for gettting things done. To those who didn’t know – my Father transitioned to the Light on Sunday night. He did so with grace, peace and yes, with a smile. As I lay in bed, it occurred to me how ridiculous things are in our part of the World. Here we are, simple humans – part of a very rushed society, chasing this – jumping for that. Just a few hours ago, I had lost that one person whom I had loved all of my Life: the person who for 48 years listening to my every dream, shaped my way of thinking, loved me for who I was and molded me to become the person that I am today – and I didn’t even get the chance to sit down, shed a few tears and have a drink in his honour. I didn’t get the time to smile , mourn and even think about him . Nope – society dictates that we have so many hours to do this – there is no time for emotions – as we have to go through the ‘motions’ … of death. This really bothered me last night. I was saddened, but more pissed that things are the way that they are. A man had just taken his last breath – and here we were, packing up his stuff in boxes because in so many hours, the cycle continues for another family. I have LISTS of things to do – register for this – send that off – fill this form and answer these questions … but nowhere on that list is it written to take the time to stop, take a few hours or a few days and just sit still – in silence – and listen to the voices of the Universe whispering to you that things are ok – that you will move on – albeit in a different way. Of course, I went to sleep holding these thoughts with me – exhausted from the day ( because I had gone through many of the expected ‘lists’ ), and frustrated because I didn’t feel that many around me understand fully how it was for my Father to transition – how it wasn’t a sad moment for him – how he had accomplished ‘his mission’, just as he said that he would . The whole mystery of death to many around me seems sad and final, while He is now smiling – soaring amongst his stars and floating in the wind. If you know me – the next few sentences will not surprise you … I took those thoughts with me and yes – I found the bench . Guess who was sitting on it ….? You know it – MY Old Man himself – not THE Old Man – but my Father – waiting for me. In true Papa style, he had his drawing pad, a glowing black pen and was staring at the waters. I didn’t go very far to see him on this bench – we sat by the River , at my house – on a bench that doesn’t yet sit there but will someday soon. When I saw him, he smiled and said: Allo toute p’tite . How’s everyone doing ? I smiled and wondered why he was even asking – since now he knows everything … and he laughed when I didn’t answer him. I told him about what had been bothering me – how people just run around and don’t take the time to STOP and HONOUR the memories and passing of someone. How many see death as the final step and never quite get over it … I went on and on about this and that … and in true Fern style, he just sat there in silence, listening to me rant. I don’t know what he was drawing – his paper pad was too bright for me to see but he did tell me that soon he would share what it was – just not yet. As he drew, He told me this: Time and Wisdom are eternal. When we are on Earth, we are drops in the huge bucket of Eternity. Some understand this now – others may never and it’s not your journey to comment or judge. Just do what you do. Play music. Read. Teach your little students about LIFE and take care of your heart. Always – always follow your heart . And of course – write this down and put it in a future book – take my journals and share them . Maybe we’ll help one person. Don’t worry about what others think. As for running around and not taking time to think about me ? Toute p’tite – arrête de t’inquiéter avec ça … That’s PEANUTS … And then he laughed. I sat there, not speaking for a while and it hit me. Time and Wisdom are Eternal. I realized how lucky I am and blessed to ‘hear’ and ‘sense’ things that others may not, yet. I now understood, through the words of my Father, that there is no ‘correct’ way to process things – to mourn and move on – other than the one for ourselves. I’ve shed tears in the past few days – yet my heart has never felt fuller nor more complete than it does now. My Father is now whole again, flying freely in the Cosmos in which he yearned to return to for years – and he’s inspiring me to fly higher . He’s giving me things to think about which I never even considered. He’s guiding me to live out my passions – in true grace and authenticity. I see that. I feel that and more importantly, I know that. Before I left the bench to return to this plane, my dad looked over and smiled again. He told me once again : arrête de t’inquiéter ( stop worrying ). Do what you have to do – and then he cited one of his Kenny Rogers songs: there’ll be enough for counting – when the dealing’s done … And he laughed. He told me a few more personal things which I shall keep for myself at the moment, and then he told me that he had things to do and would talk to me later – and he vanished. I sat there for a few extra minutes and just smiled. I know now that this running around it part of our ‘reality’ – and that’s ok. More importantly, I now have a ‘direction’ for a new project that I’ve been working on for months – about Holding Space for myself and Others – and I have the needed material to pen yet another book about the Old Man on the Bench – Wisdom from MY Old Man

So today, I’ll go through the lists. Sign this paper. Read this passage and smile. After all , it’s just peanuts … And later on, I’ll sit still, grab a pen and a little notebook and I’ll start writing. I’ll listen to the songs of the birds, I’ll smell the air of wonder and I’ll watch the leaves moving in the Wind and think of my Father.

He has become the Wind … yet his song is just beginning ….

What a beautiful day … xo

** You can purchase the book THE OLD MAN ON THE BENCH – A BEAUTIFUL DAY on Amazon.ca.

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