Little things mean a lot. They can also drive you crazy.
My new kitchen clock looks great, but it's the noisiest clock I've ever heard. Echoes from each second's strike mock the spot in my brain that hates noise. Plunk. Plunk. Plunk. It doesn't even tick. It plunks.
So I've got to decide whether constant plunking will drive me past sanity or if I can overlook this noise for the sake of time.
Time's been on my mind a lot lately because time changes things. All things.
You've seen me talk about Don Hansch before. My uncle who died a few years back. Time took him, but never his memory. What most people remember is the laugh. Distinctive enough that people knew he was around just hearing the laugh.
That's one of the things we talked about after the funeral of his stepson, Bruce Griffin, when family gathered for a meal before going back to his - or her - own life. Sad affairs such as a funeral usually bring on fun affairs, such as a family meal. A mini reunion.
And that's where time steps in again. Even living in the same town doesn't keep families together because time pulls them apart, and before you know it, the business of getting on with life gets in the way of life. Such a shame.
The Griffin family took a double hit on this because Greg Griffin died Jan. 21. That's just three weeks to get over the hurt before time struck again.
Maybe it's the introspection that comes with memories relived after a death coupled with all the love shows on television because of Valentine's Day, but I've fallen into a crazy place that has nothing to do with a plunking clock.
It's become increasingly important to me to offer advice. Crazy, right? Me telling someone what to do. But I've found that in times of stress or sadness or maybe just because, rubbing a back helps. Try it. But don't just pass your hands over the back and call it good. Just sit there and rub. There's a whole lot of good in a back rub.
Be generous. Give away something that means something to you just because the other person will love it. Probably love it more because you gave it to them.
Stand up for yourself and for others. If something needs to be fixed, fix it.
And most of all, don't be shy about connecting with the past whenever you want. Make a phone call if you want. Don't let time take away a precious connection that may never happen again.
Don't let time wear away your memories, either, but you may want to let it change what you remember. If you remember only the good, time's passing - or the passing of family or friends - won't hurt as much. Grief will be easier to manage when stories are happy stories.
Trust me. And when you're laughing till you cry, no one will ever know if the tears are laughing tears or memory's tears.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Sandy Mickelson is retired as lifestyle editor of The Messenger. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.