Not Yet? by Arhonda Luman

procrastination“Have you cleaned your room?” asked the stressed out mom.

“Not yet,” was the given reply.

“Do you have your lessons?”

“Not yet!”

“Have you made your car payment?”

“Not yet.”

All these questions have been asked by every mother that was ever born and I’m willing to bet, every mom has, at one time or another, received the answer, “not yet!”

It is the reply employers despise receiving and the one that makes creditors pull their hair out. I too, abhor that response, but not too long ago, I heard those words they almost knocked me to my knees. My thought process was definitely challenged!

It was a wonderful Saturday afternoon. The sun was hot but not unbearable. I worked, but took off a couple of hours early so I could attend my school, alumni banquet in  the town I grew up in. I ran home in a mad rush and readied myself for what E’re befalls.  I usually do not attend those type gatherings due to the time crunch I live in. This day was different though. I set aside time, so I could see a class mate that had contacted me, telling me he would be there. He lived far away and I had not seen him in a long while so I cancelled my normal duties so I could go.

I had not attended one of these meetings for several years and I had no idea who would be present or missing, but I looked forward to seeing whomever would be there.

As I gain in years, the preciousness of friends, acquaintances, family and neighbors grows deeper each day, and is compounded with the loss of those who have left this life.  I went, solely to glean memories!

I remember that day so well.  It is etched in my memory like it had been drawn there by tattoo artist. My husband and I walked into the foyer, where a kind of welcoming table  was set up. The attendants were alumni also. They greeted us, and gave us name tags so we could be recognized as well as recognize others. I had a blinding smile on my face while I was standing in the doorway to the banquet room. I saw a sea of unfamiliar faces and just as many that I recognized. In a sneaky sort of way, I tried to get a head start on recognizingold man anyone that might walk up to me unbeknownst. Behind me,  I heard a little boisterous laughter as my husband greeted someone. Being the inquisitive kind of person I am, I turned to see who. There were about four elderly gentlemen who had entered at the same time and were causing a little stir with their entrance. My smile only broadened as I watched the amiable exchange between friends. I didn’t want to interrupt but neither did I want to appear snooty, so I ambled towards one of the gentlemen who I knew to be about 94ish, offered him my hand.

Just as it had been choreographed, he took my hand. As we shared a handshake I asked him with a smile,”You doin ok?” The silliness was laid aside as he gazed with his aged eyes straight into my own and said, “Not yet.”

All the air left my lungs exactly like I had been sparring toe to toe with Rocky Balboa and suffered a punch to my mid-section.What possible response could I say to that?   Did he mean not yet because he had been rushing around to get there and needed a moment to catch his breath? Or maybe he had been sick and I was not aware?  Or maybe he had never recovered from tragedy that one is bound to have had at his age.  There was only one more possibility that I could think of at the moment…and that was. . . He was 94 years old and had procrastinated being ok. My senses reeled at that thought. Is it possible that people do not achieve the simple luxury of being *ok* because they just don’t get around to it?  In an effort to understand, I tried to analyze my own life then… the one that is too busy to go to see friends, to smell the roses, or to be ok.

I am not sure what that gentleman meant, but he gave me something to think about…..I came to this conclusion,  living a life without being ok. . . . . is not ok!




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