19 December 2016

To the DLT Triumvirate

No, not that DLT
A long time ago, in a kinder, gentler America, one not choking on the specter of soon being led by a nepotistic, tiny-handed spelling challenged megalomaniac who happens to own what may be the worst restaurant in this great country (as a reminder, this IS a great country), a restaurant you may have heard of, McDonalds, decided that we, the eating public, had had enough of lettuce and tomatoes getting warm on its burgers. So they foisted upon us the McDLT (presented above in its environmentally friendly polystyrene glory). It was in a word a failure, with a capital "F." For those of you who remember tasting it, you know why. If you don't, count your blessings.

I flashed back on the DLT this past Saturday when the mighty fine and stunningly patient SML and I went to see "Collateral Beauty." It was either that or "Rogue One," which was not an option really, as I owed her a 'chick flick.' Without giving it all away (Spoiler Alert: watch any of the treacle featured on the Hallmark Channel and you'll know the entire outcome of the movie in the first seven minutes), the protagonist, played by a weepy Will Smith, writes letters to Death, Love, and Time (DLT). That got me thinking and I've penned a few thoughts of my own to the DLT Triumvirate. Here you go:

Like taxes, unless you are *smart* like our Precedent-oops, I mean President-elect, you, death, are as unavoidable as you are inevitable. You are the one constant in the life of every.single.person.ever. Ever. That's nothing to sneer at. You hold every one of us at bay, with your uncanny ability to strike most of us with complete surprise. That's funny because we all know who you are and that you will take us. But, for most of us, we don't know when you are going to make that snatch and grab and that makes life, well, interesting. I'm sometimes envious of those who know you are coming for them. They have time (I'll get to you, Time, shortly) to prepare, to get their houses in order, to say what still needs to be said. I think that uncertainty is one of the reasons so many people fear you. I'm not one of those people though. That's not to say I'm living each day as if it is my last. I can't live that way. There's still too much to live for. That is how I choose to face you, living this life as best I can, in spite of knowing that you're gunning (bad, bad pun) for me. Also, I have faith in what awaits after this life. It's pretty darn good. In the end, Death, this life is not some weird version of "Logan's Run." I know you'll get me at some point, but I've outrun you, living this life as best I can.

Ah, Love. You've been awfully darn good to me, in spite of the fact that I have adamantly refused to celebrate the fraud that is Valentine's Day, wherein we are supposed to honor you. First, a birth mother who loved me enough to let me go. Second, parents who brought me into their home and loved me from the moment I was introduced to them at the wise old age of two days. You then jerked me around a bit in high school, as you do most of us, making me think I was the good guy from a John Hughes film (most of you have seen my high school pictures - you know this was epically delusional on my part). Then you introduced me to the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML and that was it. Mic drop. Then came three children and you redefined yourself, becoming something so powerful and unbreakable that I still don't completely understand it after twenty-six years of being a father. Then, just to make things really interesting, you brought out the big guns with the arrival of our grandchildren and redefined yourself. Again. I gotta say, I like how things have turned out with you, Love. You've done really well by me.

You're a bit like Death, aren't you, Time? You never go away either. You're always looming around, but you're a bit more present than your partner in crime, Death. There are reminders of you everywhere. On my wrist. On my phones. On every device I have, there you are, ticking away. Why then, if you are everywhere, are you so scarce? Why do we wish there was more of you? Why do we regret wasting you? Maybe it's because we know you are there and you seem finite. There are 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week, 365 days in year and we know that we've got stuff to do within those parameters. Because we know that when Death decides to make its move on us, you are done with us. Time as we know stops then. So, with the time we have here, we have things to do. Ironically, as we have you, Time, looming over us knowing that Death is coming for us at some point, we can miss out on the joys of the third part of the DLT Triumvirate, Love. That's what makes you tricky, Time. Figuring out how to make the most of you in this life is one of my biggest challenges. Thanks for that, Time.

Whether we like it or not, the DLT plays a critical part in each of our lives. Make the most of them. Let's just be grateful it's not the McDLT.

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