Time Present and Time Past


A week before our wedding

A week before our wedding

Two months from today

Two months from today

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
.S Eliot Burnt Norton

We knew for the past couple of years that we did not want to stay in Florida after Sherod’s retirement.  Back in 2012, when we went to Alabama for a wedding and started to consider the possibility of a move back to the area around Selma, over and over we slammed into the realities of our daughter’s needs.  Maria has come a long way and she is also still as vulnerable as ever.  She needs the safety net of an Intermediate Care Facility and Alabama has none.  How could we leave her and move so far away?  It haunted us.

Last time we went to Selma, suddenly it occurred to me as we were driving back home that it would be worth looking into ICF’s in the northwest part of Florida where she would be a lot closer to us and still within the umbrella of care provided to Florida residents.  I googled and found a small network run by a private, non-profit organization.  They even listed beds available right now in the Tallahassee ICF they run.  We got back here, went to work researching that possibility, stopped in for a meeting and tour at the Tallahassee on the way back up last week and have begun the transfer process for the girl that should culminate with me driving her up there on June 15 or 16th.

TDC is much like BARC. Another ‘branch’ of the private non-profit that runs TDC has an amazing performing arts program for folks like my girl and she will get to sing and be in plays and do all sorts of performance marvels to her hearts content, starting immediately after she arrives in Tallahassee.  Sherod and I expect we will get to see her every month or so and have her up with us for a few days at a time all through the year.  And without abusing of their generosity, we have asked her stepbrother, Charlie, and his family to help us keep an eye on her. It is reassuring that in a true emergency a member of the family could be there in under an hour to help make decisions.

With the contract now executed, this evening instead of walking I started tackling my part of the garage.  It’s surely time travel time for me.  As I sorted through my shelves, I found boxes and boxes of old, cancelled checks going back to right before Sherod and I got married.  It is only very rarely that I write checks any longer and I had forgotten how it’s a trip to rifle through them, how many memories waft up with the dust.  And because we have started talking about all these moves and changes with our girl Maria, there was a call in the midst of my work–her eagerness for the 16th of June to arrive is enormous–and we played “imagine” over the phone.

Everything here and now is layered on as well–my leave-taking is changing just about every relationship I have valued here and the to-do list gets longer and longer so I have to concentrate intensely on the things I have right in front of me.  Time all smooshed up, all wibbly-wobbly in me.

One thought on “Time Present and Time Past

  1. I had no idea when I suggested you look at Lowndesboro that things would move so fast. But with God, who ever knows?? I have a good feeling about all this. Makes me think of one of my favorite St. Teresa quotations: “Let nothing disturb thee…..All things pass: God never changes. Patience attains all that it strives for. He who has God finds he lacks nothing. God alone suffices.” We are praying for you, Sherod and Maria that all this will be a blessing.

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