I got up this morning go through my usual routine while not-so-silently bitching about this 1-3 inches of snow and rain coming down on what is, by the calendar, the third day of spring. After the winter we’ve had like most everyone else my sense of NYC stoic is shot to shit and I’m just done with any kind of snow. Do I wear my boots or tough it out in my sneakers? What if it is not raining that hard? I don’t want to be standing around all day in boots, yada, yada, yada… I make a decision and head out. It’s dark, it’s dank and just miserable looking outside.


Now the path from my home to the train station leads past several tenement buildings and projects.  A part of City life in my current neighborhood is the occasional appearance of memorials for the recently departed. I’m ashamed to say, they are so much so a part of the scenery that while I see them, I really don’t.  At least, until this morning.

This morning as I pass, I actually noticed the memorial, this was somehow different and as I looked closer, I understood why. The large portrait was that of a baby. This life could not have been more than a couple of months if I am gauging this infant correctly.  Someone lost a baby. Do we  even want to go into all the reasons why the younger a life is when it departs from us, the more tragic it seems? No.  It just is. Suddenly today’s annoying rain/snow crap in spring was considerably less so and posted such in my Facebook status.

Just after I share, I noticed one of my friends posted the query “what happens when you’ve been there, done that?”  I get the joke of it, I do and I “liked” one of cutesy responses, still…  I think of my sons, my friends, others and myself. We spend so much time a’bitchin’ and a’moanin’ about the things we can’t do, we want to do, we have yet to do. We wrap ourselves around the dreams of the next big adventure we often barely appreciate the act of the things we have done once they become memory.  All the things we’ve already done even the truly regrettable ones, we got to do them. So right now, right now, I keep thinking about this newest angel looking down upon us who didn’t get to do anything but brighten someone’s life for the briefest moment and think…

“what happens when you’ve been there, done that?” …

…Be grateful.

2 thoughts on “Perspective

  1. The death of a baby serves as a stark reminder of how far the medical profession still has to go before it enters the 21st century. My father lost two siblings while the family was still in Imperial Russia, over 100 years ago. As for the snow, I’ll never forget the blizzard of April 1, 1982, one day after my first wife and I returned to NY from LA, and her birthday. That was a shocker.

  2. I think, for me, the hardest lessons of life have been that the way it turns out is mostly dependent on me and that living in the moment is very, very hard work. Just like joy when we leave that magic bubble of childhood it becomes harder and harder to grab a hold of. Death, terrifyingly, is one of those things in life that brings it home hard, over and over again, that all we have is now. That every second is precious and that we have a God given duty to live it right and make every moment golden because there are many, many people whose journey here has been heart-breakingly brief.

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