If Not Now…


Colgate Clock 001-01

Recently, my darling daughter and I were heading downtown on the 1 train, experiencing more than the usual delays. As we reached the 96th Street station, we heard the announcement that the train would be going express…one stop short of our destination. Aaarrrgh!!!

As we joined the stampede off the train, there was a man struggling to get on with his little daughter in a stroller. Like anyone navigating our city’s subway system with a young child, he was especially stressed!

“The train is going express!” I said to him, thinking he might not have heard the announcement while his attention was focused on getting to where they needed to go.

“What?” He looked up surprised.

“The train is going express,” I repeated. “I thought you might like to know before you fight your way on with the stroller and then watch your stop sail past.” Pointing to my own daughter standing next to me, I continued, “I remember what it’s like!”

“Thank you!”

As we stood next to one another on the crowded platform, waiting for the next train that would take each of us to our local stop destination, he looked at my grown daughter (she’s really a five-year-old’s Soul in an adult’s body) and then at me, he recognized me as a contemporary and noticed the contrast in our children’s ages.

“I started late in life,” he told me, almost apologetically. “I was busy with my career and making money when I was younger, and I’m having babies when I should be a grandfather. I’m retired now. I think I made a mistake.”

“A mistake?” By this time, the next train arrived and my daughter and I were holding the doors as he pushed the jogging stroller occupied by the pink-clad smiling cutie onto the slightly less crowded train.

“Yes,” he said. “I should have done this 20 years ago, but I was too busy making money.” His face clouded with this admission.

“You can’t change the past,” I reminded him gently. “And if not now, when would you have her?” I asked. “Look at her! Would you miss out on this? If not now, then when?”

The train was pulling into our station and my daughter and I braced ourselves to get off. The man’s face brightened with his relieved smile. “Thank you!” He said. “I needed to hear that. Thank you!”

My work was done. I remind people of what they need to hear.

Have I reminded you? Please share!


7 thoughts on “If Not Now…

  1. I was thinking the same thing, that he was blessed to have her no matter his age. It might be a little more difficult (I’m old enough to have grown children and it’s harder for me to keep up with little ones), but he has the blessing of a lifetime.

    I was just telling my husband that I’d wished we’d moved back home ten years sooner. But, he pointed out that the conditions did not present themselves for us to make it here before. He’s right. I just feel like so much time was wasted far away from family. My mom is ill and may not have much time left. At least we got here before she left this plain.

    I enjoy talking to people I meet out and about. So many stories. Thanks for sharing this one.

    1. Thank you, Lori, for sharing your thoughts!
      My view is that since, in Reality, Life is eternal, whatever we experience on the current stage, is never wasted. It adds to our cosmic, infinite database, and we move along.
      It was a joy and a priviledge to help ease a fellow traveler’s anxiety just a tiny bit! xoxoM

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