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A Life in the day: Anticipation

Updated on September 24, 2012

The countdown had begun. In less than ten days my wife and I would be off to visit our kids in South Carolina. I always have believed in the power of anticipation. This yearning desire of our expectations had far exceeding the logical outcome of actual events. It is simply summed up thusly; once contact is made the ‘diminishing time clock’ is ticking. It’s the non-negotiable reality we have with our contract with time.

I suppose this is as good of a time as any to break from the abstract of reality into the specific realism of life. As a parent, I embrace the abstract reality of Abraham Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs”. Life being what it is, in times when circumstance dictates behavior, the weight of the crown favors Niccolo Machiavelli’s philosophy “it is better to be feared than to be loved.” Simply stated, when the shit hits the fan, order must be restored to minimize the meltdown. Love them or hate them, these are the times of our lives.

My eldest son Tim’s thirtieth birthday took place on the 25th of September of 2011. Family dynamics is a fascinating and educational circumstance to observe. This celebratory occasion coincided with my youngest son Kevin’s decision to break the news to his family he was leaving Arizona to begin anew in South Carolina with his girlfriend and daughter. Although their relationship had endured an acute historical strain of tragedy and pain, the bombshell he dropped possessed the power of a nuclear explosion leaving yet another pool of tears.

I realized not only had Maslow and Machiavelli joined the commemoration, I now was assigned the duty to be speaking on behalf of them both uninvited guests simultaneously. All the while in the recesses of my mind the musical accoutrement of the “times of your life” and “Roll with the Changes” were dueling for control of my emotion self. My wife was emotional distraught firmly entrenched in the Paul Anka camp while Kevin’s siblings sang along with REO Speedwagon.

Kevin graced his mother with the gift of a Granddaughter but not before numerous traumatic incidents preceded that joyous moment. The cost of such a blessing potentially would expose a meaning more than life itself to my partner of 25 years. A gift I was happy to embrace despite the ramifications surely to follow. Maslow and Machiavelli and the traditional Happy Birthday ritual had won the day although the cake, candles and song had been placed on hold.

…“The laughter and the tears… the shadows of misty yesteryears; the good times and the bad you've seen and all the others in between…Remember, do you remember…”

Finally, the day had arrived to which we would visit our son, quasi Daughter-In-Law and precious little granddaughter. It seems as though years had passed since the young trio had left in October, encompassed by a haze of ambiguity, at least in our painstaking minds eye. Wisdom has an affinity of creating such skepticism but not without reason. I suppose in the final analysis, it’s the difference between running to embrace life and as opposed to running away from life.

We departed for the East Coast with the expectation to assist our kids fresh self proclaimed lives albeit of limited resources; how noble of us, being of ‘limited resources’ ourselves. A plan to acquire the basics furnishing to make their apartment a home; a dinette, a sofa, a bed even, but at the very heart and soul of the journey, we would indulge our six month torturous void to adore our beloved baby Granddaughter Chelsea.

Every step along the way was one moment closer to the ultimate attainment of this realization. With each step along the way the anticipation loomed larger than life for both weathered Grandparents. This couple of 25 years had agreed on few aspects in life. It was this particular circumstance they were in complete agreement, albeit from disparate perceptions.

With no more aircraft connections to be made, the plane touched down in South Carolina. The adrenalin was palpable. Anticipation constrained their bated breath. The conviction of their voracious desire was but a moment in time away. The melancholy came across their faces relatively simultaneously; fore they realized the clock would soon be ticking toward the diminishing accessibility of time and the inherent restraint of their addiction.

In a frenzied surreal state, the bags were grabbed from the small craft on the tarmac, as they proceeded toward their inexorableness conclusion of anticipation. Their site was keen as they concurrently focused upon the initial glimpse of the object of their anticipation, the object of their affection, their addiction. In a moment, to be forever frozen in time, the beast from within would be provisionally satisfied; along with the caveat of knowing full well, the beast from within is only fleetingly satisfied.

“So if your tired of the same old story, turn some pages, I will be here when you are ready to roll with the changes…” Keep on rolling!


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    • gjfalcone profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      Thank you for your comments and for adding context to the story Rahul.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 

      6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Separation is tough.. but who can argue.. it is a part of life! isn't it?

      I have been away from my family since 3 years and I certainly miss them!

      Nice write

    • gjfalcone profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      Thanks as always for your comments phdast7. I like the combination of surprised and grateful as well.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hello gjf -

      Separation is certainly hard...with a father in the Air Force my life was full of separations until I was about 18 and settled in Georgia to go to school. I am both surprised and very grateful that my three sons and their families all live no more than an hour from me.

      The counterpoint in your story of anticipation, joy at seeing each other (but tinged with an awareness of the ticking clock and expiring time) is very true to life. I guess the end of anything is always contained in the beginning. Sad. :( Theresa

    • gjfalcone profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      Hello Hui, Thank you for your comments. I appreciate your support as well as your context to the story. Be well my friend.

    • Hui (蕙) profile image

      Hui (蕙) 

      6 years ago

      We never lost our family and the most meaningful human feeling wherever we are!

    • gjfalcone profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      Thanks for your words of support Michele. I'm not in a bad place, albeit all too familar.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      6 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Hi gjf it is hard, but please try to remember it has been hard for a long time. You have seen your beautiful little granddaughter. That is a good thing. Each day there is a good thing, even if it is only a small good thing. Remember the good thing that happens each day, even if it is only one small good thing. Just an idea.

    • gjfalcone profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      Well said femme, the adulation of the moment must not be overtaken the inevitability of the limitations beyond our control. Thank you as always for your considered perspective.

    • profile image


      6 years ago


      I'm sincerely sorry for the separation in your family, especially with your grandchild.

      I do understand about watching the clock, and being aware of every moment gone when with a loved one, and knowing the time with them will be over soon.

      It's a two-sided situation. Being thankful for the interraction, and dreading that it will end much too soon.



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