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Five Minute Friday: When

Ponte Vecchio in Florence

Five Minute Friday is a writing event that has writers spending five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing them at This week's word is When.

One of my coworkers, Vicky, was placed in hospice care this week. Her doctors ran out of ways to fight the agressive form of cancer attacking her body. I've been trying to think of some way to give a life shortened far to soon some meaning. I don't want to feel the pain of the loss and move on, I want it to alter me in a positive way.

One of the last conversations I had with Vicky was about Italy. She visited there several years ago with a friend and I went in the summer of 2013 with my sister. We discussed what we liked about it (this part of the conversation focused a lot on gelato) and what we did not like about it (other than some of the main sites, neither one of us was too fond of Rome) and we discussed what we wanted to see when we went back.

When - it's a word of hope, a word of anticipation, a word of promise. When is in the future, a date yet to be determined. Vicky will never have that when.

When doesn't have to point to something major like world travel. It can be something small like "when I get my DVR cleared, I'll read more." It can point to a procrastination of  a new habit, "When I get rid of all the bad food in my house, then I'll start my diet." But at the root of it, no matter how big or small the endeavor, proceeding it by when means we are putting it off. Until the right time, until the temptation is gone, and most honesty, once I feel like doing it.

I don't want to live in when anymore. I want to live in now. Finding happiness now instead of when (fill in the blank). Maybe the best lesson I can take from Vicky's life is that there are no guarantees. When may never come. And even if that when (fill in the blank) never happens, or doesn't happen the way we thought it was, we can be content with what we have in this moment then be even more content when we realize our dream.

If not now, when.  That is going to be my new mantra. I hope it is a worthy tribute to Vicky.


  1. Andrea, this is a sobering but inspiring post. It is a wonderful tribute to Vicky. God's abundant grace and comfort to her and everyone who loves her. Visiting from Five Minute Friday. Blessings.

  2. Thank you for your prayer and for visiting!

  3. This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing.

    1. You're welcome, Jenessa. I'm so happy to hear that it touched you.


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