To tell you the truth, it takes a lot longer than FIVE minutes to type up an itty-bitty blog on my iPhone. Although, I haven’t tried to dictate the words to Siri, who still thinks “Raj” is “Rise” so I’m not holding my breath on that option.
Anyway, I write my first-five minute blog yesterday on the LIRR, heading to Manhattan, and Hubs sits next to me, amused. At first. After six. Then ten. Then twenty minutes of fixing all the words Auto-correct thinks I meant to say, I round out the five sentence story and hit SEND. Off to impress the socks off readers everywhere, because who doesn’t have five minutes to spare?
I promise to tell you all the details of our ultra-fun, topsy-turvy, full of “No way!… WAY!”-moments date, but first: The value of five minutes as I’ve experienced this past week, leading up to yesterday.
This past Tuesday, I make plans to attend a book reading of Ashok Rajamani, the author of the memoir “The Day My Brain Exploded” at a Barnes and Noble in the city. But I haven’t been to a bookstore in a while, so I decide to arrive plenty early to read and research popular Young Adult novels currently circulating the hands of teens. The train two minutes from my house, according to the LIRR website, leaves at 12:35PM. I leave my house at 12:27PM. Sure. I probably didn’t need to zap my coffee those last 30 seconds. But what can I say, sometimes a girl just has to have her coffee. Warm.
A few feet from the tracks, I watch with disappointment as the gates descend and a train chugga-chugga-chew-chews right by me. NOOOOO!
My phone reads 12:30PM. And the train is on the wrong side of the tracks. So I exhale relief and proceed to buy my ticket. My train must be around the corner. Then I hear a beep from the pick-up parked nearby.
It’s a friend of mine.
“You just missed the train.” This friend brings bad news.
“No! But, but…” I’m looking at the platform. It’s definitely barren.
“They moved the train to the opposite side because of construction.” My friend says.
“You mean that was my train?!?” Darn it.
“But it came early.” My friend confirms my suspicions.
“I knew it.” Not that it helps. Now.
“Jump in.” My friend pops open the passenger door. “I’ll drive you to the next station. Maybe you can still catch it.”
Really? Okay. “I guess it’s worth a shot.”
And thus began our train-chasing adventure that lasted for three, five-minute intervals, crossing not one, not two, but three sets of train tracks. Missing the train. Three. More. Times. Five minutes at a time.
As my friend’s wife mentioned later, “It just wasn’t meant to be.”
Ended up having my friend drop me off at the hospital. Needed some drugs after that kind of defeat. Kidding. Had lunch with hubby since the next train wasn’t due to arrive for another two hours. Off peak can really throw you off schedule.
Still arrive in the city two hours before Ashok’s reading. Speed-skim through some Pittacus Lore, Scott Westerfeld, Libba Bray and a few others. Five minutes here. Five minutes there. Until one story takes me in. Got all caught up in Green’s Paper Towns. Because five minutes is enough to get me hooked. But not enough to satisfy. I have to keep reading! What a great idea for a teen story!
When the reading comes around, also hear from memoir author of “With or Without You,” Domenica Ruta. As Rajamani and Ruta discuss the art of writing and sharing such personal stories with the world, can’t help but stare at the sign behind them. “Barnes And Noble.” Wonder if my day is coming soon. To be up there and share my stories.
June 1st is around the corner, and ready or ready, my first book, Swimming Through Clouds, will grace its place on Cyber shelves everywhere. Amazon and Smashbooks to be exact, via PlayList Fiction! Three YA books are already on there for your reading pleasure!! Glass Girl, Between These Lines, and It’s Complicated are a downloadable click away.
The next day is my second princess’s 11th birthday, so the morning starts with the oven a’warming. Cuz this princess loves cinnamon rolls and needs a batch of brownies for her classmates. So I put on my Super-mom hat and get to baking. That evening, Nitha picks Famous Dave’s for her birthday dinner after getting her hair cut, and everything runs late. Because that’s just how life happens sometimes. The plans were to finish up all festivities by 8:00PM and arrive at the nursing home to share some cake with her grandpa, Hubs’ dad. But now it’s 9:30PM, and eyes are closing in the backseat when we pull up to the parking lot at the home.
“Five minutes.” I turn to Hubby and tell him my decision. “I’ll just take up Nitha, we’ll see your dad, tell him it’s her birthday, help your mom gather her things, and come right back down.”
Hubs turns around and sees the two youngest with their heads leaning on each other off in dreamland. “Okay. I’ll wait here.”
As Nitha and I make our way up the elevator, I grasp tightly to my little, not so little, girl’s hand. Not ready to let her grow up too quickly, I gaze at her sweet face, touched by the beauty I see, inside and out. She’s whistling. It’s her thing. She loves to whistle. All day long. And it brings music into my life, all day long.
We find Papa sitting with other residents in the common room. They’re watching the news. Sort of.
“Hi Appa.” I call him Dad. “How are you? It’s Nitha’s birthday today.”
Papa looks at Nitha, gives her a beaming smile, and says, “We love you, Nitha.” He’s speaking for his wife and himself.
“I love you too, Papa.” Nitha responds.
My chest sinks with the weight of his words. When someone has Alzheimer’s, you’re not always sure what they will remember, each time you visit. But he remembered this. That he loved Nitha. He loves her.
We chat for a few more minutes, more smiles than words exchanged, and then head back to the elevator and home. And all I can think is how it only takes five minutes. To teach a child to take time. For others. Because although Papa told my daughter he loved her. The time we spent with him told him that we love him. Even if it was only five minutes. So glad we didn’t miss it.
Five minutes. That’s all it takes to miss a train. To chase a train. To get hooked on a great book. And to show someone you love them.
You can always catch the next train. Pick up a book later. Just don’t miss a moment to love someone. Five minutes…
Five Minutes. What do five minutes mean to you? Ever experience a five-minute moment that you’ll always remember?