Monday, May 12, 2008

Wasted Time

Mothers' Day 2008 has come and gone. Mine was full of toddler hugs, daughters who got 6 active children, collectively, dressed and into the car to spend the day with me, a spouse who cooked a great dinner, some lovely presents and sweet memories to add to my stockpile.

My sister-in-law's Mothers' Day was quite different. Because her only son was buried the day before.

He was my newphew: a caring son who wanted to someday take his mother on a wonderful trip; his father's best friend; a doting uncle who really enjoyed his nieces and nephew. A jokester. A lover of the outdoors. My nephew, but he could have been your nephew, brother, son, uncle. Everyone has someone like him in the family. Someone who has somehow gotten lost along the way of life's journey.

Only 36 years old, he had run off the road late at night and flipped the car he was driving several times. With no seatbelt, the car had rolled over on him. The theory is he had blacked out. His younger sister related this had happened once before after the near-fatal head injury he had suffered only months before. He had been alone, and died instantly.

His father stood at his funeral, tears running down his face, reminding us all to keep our children close by. He told us it wasn't right for parents to bury their child: it should have been he burying his parents.

But if this hadn't already broken our hearts, the poem read by his older sister after that surely did.

It was one my nephew had come across in the last months of his life, and he felt it described the way he was feeling about his life - the life he so wanted to change.

I would like to share it here in the hope it might succeed for your someone. It is called "Wasted Time" and it was written by Dave LeFave

The time that I've wasted is my biggest regret,
Spent in thes places I will never forget.
Just sitting and thinking about the things that I've done,
The crying, the laughing, the hurt and the fun.

Now it's just me and my hard-driven guilt
Behind a wall of emptiness I allowed to be built.
I'm trapped in my body, justs wanting to run
Back to my youth with its laughter and fun.

But the chase is over and there's no place to hide.
Everything is gone, including my pride.
With reality suddenly right in my face
I'm aacared, alone and stuck in this place.

Now memories of the past flash through my head
And the pain is obvious by the tears that I shed.
I ask myself why and where I went wrong.
I guess I was weak when I should have been strong.

Living for the drugs and the wings I had grown,
My feelings were lost, afraid to be shown.
As I look at my past it's so easy to see
The fear I had, afraid to be me.

I'd pretend to be rugged, so fast and so cool
When actually lost like a blinded old fool.
I'm getting too old for this tiresome game
Of acting real hard with no sense of shame.

It's time that I chanhe and get on with my life,
Fulfilling my dreams for a family and wife.
What my future will hold I really don't know,
But the years that I've wasted are starting to show.

I just live for the day when I'll get a new start
And the dreams I still hold deep in my heart.
I hope I can make it, I at least have to try
Because I'm heading toward death, and I don't want to die.

It's funny how, as teens and young adults, we think our parents, aunts and uncles are hopelessly out of touch with what's cool, rad, or whatever term is being used at the time. We think they are clueless as to what is really important. But as we grow older, we learn that the important things have to do with family, peace of mind and the simple joys of life.

May my nephew rest in peace. May he have been given the serenity he so wanted in his lifetime.

1 comment:

Prisoner's Soul -- Tom Lagana said...

Thanks for sharing how Dave LeFave's poem was used at the funeral of your nephew. Dave will be honored to know this. Dave's mother told me about your posting. I'm co-author of the book, "Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul," in which "Wasted Time" was first published in August 2000. Thanks, too, for giving credit to Dave LeFave on your Blog.
All the Best,


Co-author "Chicken Soup for the Volunteer's Soul,"
"Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul,"
"Serving Time, Serving Others"
and "Serving Productive Time"
Tom Lagana ~ (302) 475-4825 ~PO Box 7816,Wilmington,DE19803