April 30, 2008


being alarmed means being ready

A few weeks ago, prior to going on vacation, a security system was installed in our house, much to my chagrin. I wasn't present for the installation nor the training program that must have accompanied it and frankly, took little interest in the entire procedure as I found myself busy with other priorities. I had been assigned a security code to allow me to activate and deactivate the thing but once again, paid no attention to these details as I hurried through life. I decided to ignore the whole affair until I had more time to attend to this intrusion, perhaps after we returned from our vacation. I do remember discussions taking place with the kids so that they could use the alarm system while we were away but I didn't participate - there would be time when I got home. At 5 AM, the day before we left, I inadvertently caused the stupid electronic piece of junk to go into some sort of spasmodic siren condition when I didn't enter some code and a strange voice from within the house started demanding that I identify myself immediately and that they would be dispatching the police and all sorts of other threats, just because I opened my front door to retrieve the morning paper. Lots of hollering and saying of secret words and codes and I was rescued from certain imprisonment, just in the nick of time. A few colourful words may have escaped from my mouth as I yelled at this strange grey box with the blinking red light on top, sitting on the floor in the family room and talking at me.
While out of the country I became aware of a number of things like the incredibly heavy security personnel presence in every airport who have all undergone surgery to remove their sense of humour, or should I say, humor? Other things were also weighing heavily on my mind as I noticed how many people needed help getting from one place to another due to the physical limitations of aging. This was noticeable on planes, in restaurants and virtually everywhere else. I often thought of friends who are currently undergoing some severe medical and in two cases, terminal illnesses, much too young. Like them, I just assume that I will have time to enjoy life later. The old saying about living every day like it is our last, assumes that we will know it is our last. What if it just is - without warning? What will have been left undone? What dreams will be unrealized and why? What promises unfilled? What adventures not lived and lands unexplored? That old Catholic school training that demanded that we suffer in this life in order to enjoy the next, makes less sense all the time - what time is left, that is.
Since I've been home, I have tripped the damn security system two mornings in a row and found that no one had armed it last night. I'm not sure whose life has been extended by this oversight but I know that I am ready to find something other than a whining siren call to make my days more exciting. I've done surfing....perhaps sky-diving???? Why wait until next year to try something new?

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