Bits & Pieces


By Brenda Boykin


Train versus Clock

Almost daily, I make it a practice to sit at my kitchen table and look out the sliding glass doors. I love to watch nature’s activities in my back yard and on the wooded hillside next to the creek that runs by the house. I consider the view to be my own little piece of heaven in Wild and Wonderful West Virginia. During these times I have the feeling of peaceful solitude and I just let my mind wander. While in this state of mind, the other day I heard the sounds of a train going by our town. Though the click and clack of the wheels on the rails was a steady constant rhythm, I knew the train was moving along at a pretty good rate of speed. For some unknown reason, I looked at the clock in the kitchen and noticed its steady clicking. It struck me that though the clock’s hands turn in a circle, the clock is stuck on the wall and not going anywhere. Even though the click, clack of the train is so constant that it is almost hypnotizing, it does move on up the line to another location.

I realized that we humans have to do some things constantly, steadily, and sometimes daily just to keep our lives under control. Some find themselves to be much like the clock doing the same things all the time and staying in same place, while others move on.

My daughter’s boyfriend was told about three years ago that he had six months to a year to live. He has diabetes and was never one to go to a doctor. By the time it was discovered that his kidneys were not working, it was too late to do anything about it. He has to take dialysis three times a week, sometimes more, so he can function and to make life more comfortable. He had to accept the routine of dialysis, but otherwise he plans like nothing has changed. In the winter he plans for the summer and gardening, and in the summer he plans for the winter and heating his home. He just keeps moving along. There are times I don’t see how he does it.

When my daughter and I first heard the news that he is terminal, we became more like the clock waiting for the inevitable. However, he moved like the train. We finally got on the train with him. We rarely think about the end any more. Now if any negative news comes up about his state of health, we deal with it as if it is just another bump in the road. We have come to realize he is not giving in and has extended his life because of his attitude. I have to admire someone that takes the bumps in the road, and with determination moves ahead. Who knows? In another three years he may still be moving on up the track. One thing is for sure, death will have to chase him down.