“Today is the greatest day I have ever known.
Can’t wait for tomorrow—might not have that long.”
(Smashing Pumpkins)

As a child it never occurred to me that time was the most precious of gifts.
Or that I might run out of it. Intellectually I knew, but behaviorally…there would always be another time.

But sometimes there isn’t. Because all things must pass. And do.

My shiny Schwinn bike (with training wheels), Grandpa Maisei (my Dad’s dad), Little League….come and gone.

And elementary school days. They ran out too.

The house I grew up in. Mr. Gelfand to the west/Chris Hovanyi to the west. I moved and they’re long gone.

And the Riviera Swim Club.

All things must pass.

The acne. The Bar Mitzvah lessons. The fear of my first date—the trauma of divorce’s final decree.

My first glove; my first set of steel spikes. Adam and Tide. Bobby Kennedy. Fred Wendel, ( manager of the White Sox when we won the World Championship in 1960), and Bessie Zane, Stuart’s live-in grandmother….

My hairline…my virginity…Sam Kinison. Fartik!

Murray Galan and Claire. Irv and Celia. And now, Albert and Elaine.

The most life-like person I ever knew, my Dad…but on August 9, 1985 it was what it was. And WHEN it was, there wasn’t one word left unspoken between us. We had known that time was a gift, and that nothing should be taken for granted…including our ability to share it.

Woody and Bo. Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Rabbi Cohen.

And the chance to slide head-first into a folded paper bag with stones on it…third base on the diamond at Rowland School. Or sliding traditionally, and then calling time to step off the bag and dust myself off like they did on TV. (The bastards paved over the field in the 90’s. Pity the South Euclid kids that waited too long to take a bow to their imaginary crowd).

Truth be known, I began as an outfielder, moved to second base, then third. At the hot corner you’re encouraged to take everything possible to your left, cutting precious seconds off balls otherwise fielded deeper at short.
Time…. Time… Time…
Came the time THAT I was just waiving as the balls went by. Wieder spoke aloud what my heart knew inside: I was now a catcher.

All things must pass.

When I was younger I used to think: Never do today what you can put off tomorrow. That there would be a better time…’twasn’t always so.

Oh, once in a while we got it right. Michael and Jamie saw Lem Barker’s perfect game ball in Cooperstown before he did. And 5 year old Stacy puzzled window shoppers, standing frozen in a storefront window at Tower City. Moments were seized.

If today is really the only day I have for certain I want to make it the best day I can. If there is something I can do today, maybe I should. Maybe I will.

I woke up today—G/d’s gift to me. What I do with this 24 hours is my gift back.

Today? This too will pass.

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time of war, a time of peace
A time of love, a time of hate
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing
A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time of peace, I swear it’s not too late!

(Adapted from Book Of Eccliastes)

One Response to “TURN TURN TURN”

  1. Jackie says:

    Ahhhh…once again you cause me to reflect. Thanks.

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