One of my favourite TV shows from the 90s was Quantum Leap. Scott Bakula played Dr. Sam Beckett. In each episode, he would find himself somewhere back in time in someone else’s body and he would have to solve some problem in that person’s life. It was like a cross between reincarnation and speed dating.
My favourite episode was when he found himself back in his own body as a 12-year-old boy. He was back on the family farm at Thanksgiving time just before his brother was to go to Vietnam where he would die and before his father’s heart attack.
Knowing the future, he did everything he could to try to change it but no one would listen to a 12-year-old boy. When he was feeling really helpless about his situation, his friend told him, “I would give anything to go back in time and enjoy one more Thanksgiving dinner with my family.” Sam was able to step back and enjoy the precious time with his family.
Our present moments so quickly become the memories that we treasure or miss. The trick in life is to hold onto that awareness, to be fully present and fully alive to the ever changing beauty and wonder right in front of us, to see this precious present with that perspective from the future. From your soul’s perspective, we really can make time stand still and live eternity in a moment.
I loved Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas and birthday dinners lovingly made by my mom. I loved helping her out in the kitchen, setting the table and cleaning up. I loved sitting around the table talking and eating with my parents, my brother and my sister.
Long before my mom’s unexpected passing, I had a deeper understanding that these moments – the everyday time we spend with our loved ones – are fleeting and precious so I had better pay attention and enjoy them.
I’m glad I did. Though I wasn’t consciously prepared for losing my mom, I am happy that I had lived as if each moment might be the last I might spend with the people that I cared about. Those moments remain touch points to eternity. I can remember and relive them as if they continued to exist.
This perspective continues to inform how I live each day, and I am not saddened with another Thanksgiving without my mom because I always feel her close to me and I feel how my life continues to be enriched by the past.