by Lorin Michel Friday, March 11, 2016 7:39 PM

I am struck sometimes by how much time we spend waiting. Waiting in line, waiting for mail, waiting to be called. We wait for dinner reservations, wait to get married, wait to get old. We wait for the weather to change, wait for the storm to pass, for the sun to come out. Waiting is what we do best and sometimes I wonder why we wait for things to happen when we can just make them happen.

Naturally we can't change the fact that we have to wait in line at a grocery store to check out. There are some times when we need to wait but there are also times when we choose to wait because we're afraid. Afraid of what might happen if we don't wait. The problem then is that we become passive in our own lives; we wait to settle rather than being fearless, being brave. 

Someone said to me not long after we had moved that what we'd done was very brave. I hadn't thought of it that way though it struck me. I never thought of myself as brave. It was simply that we didn't want to wait anymore for our lives to change so we changed it ourselves. We built a house, we figured out how to populate it with fixtures and furnishings. We figured out how to pay for it. We just did it because to not do it was no longer an option. 

Waiting takes up so much of our lives, so much precious time. It's frustrating and normal. It's also easier. When you wait for life happen rather than helping it along, you're short-changing yourself. You're letting fear of the unknown win, because it's what we do. What we all do. 

We wait. To lose weight, to get in shape, to eat healthier. We wait. To be nicer, be better, be ready. We wait. We hope. We dream. 

Waiting for life to begin, waiting for the inevitable. There is here and there is there, now and what will be. We know what is now. We have no idea what is in an hour, a day, a week, next month, next year, next life. Waiting for a sign.

When we lost our precious Maguire I remember sitting on the floor with him, stroking his greasy fur. He had been in the veterinary hospital since Friday night and it was Tuesday morning. He had suffered horrendous, unending seizures, only stopped by the administering of drugs. We waited for it to stop the entire drive to the hospital. It didn't. We waited for him to get better because we weren't ready to say goodbye. He didn't. On that Tuesday morning, the vet had told us he wasn't getting better; that he wasn't going to get better. We had made the decision to let him go because he was waiting to leave. Kevin had left the room to tell the vet. I whispered in my boy's ear, inhaling his Maguire scent still present even in the sickness, asking him to give us a sign that we should wait a little longer. Instead, he had another seizure. It was time. We had perhaps waited too long. We vowed to not do that again. 

And yet we did with Cooper, waiting to take him to the hospital, waiting for him to get better. We'll wait again.

Because sometimes we have to wait to be sure. It's a dichotomy. The only constant is change. The only change that can't be undone is death. We wait. Because we live. 

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live out loud

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