A Casualty of TimeWhat a thing to think about now. It's only a name. For all of my life people have called me Turner. Many of them didn't even know if it was my first or last. Just, Turner. Is that all they would remember about me after I'm gone? And just how long would that memory be? Would I be a part of idle conversation? An "Oh I remember him" moment? Why should I even care, it's not like I'll be around to hear it?But it must matter, or why would it concern me so much now? I've spent a lifetime becoming who I am, good or bad. There are those who will always love me and think highly of me. Others, well....not so much. At times, I've done my best not to let other people down. No matter how hard you try, it just seems that stubbornness, or personal preference, gets in the way of that. Those who matter most understand this and continue to be there for me even when I am wrong. And, when it came time to disappoint them again, that was the path I took.They would remember me. I was such a significant part of their lives that they could not forget. Oh, they may not think of me every single day after I am gone, but I will always be in their memory. At first they will think of me often, but time has a way of filling the voids in the mind with other things. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It all matters, yet, not all of it is important. It is still important to me, tomorrow that is. But I no longer have any control over that. When I did, I didn't change. It didn't matter. Now that it does, I am helpless. Time moves on and I'll be but a memory.Time. What a concept. It is impersonal, yet it means so much. It affects our relationships, our goals, our dreams, and our behavior. It means more to those who have more experience with it. People often wonder why time moves faster as you get older. It doesn't, really, but that premise has reasoning behind it. When a baby boy is one year old, a year is a lifetime to him. When he is ten years old, a year is one tenth of a lifetime. When he is fifty, a year is one fiftieth of a lifetime. As we age, years mean less in the time it takes in passing, but they mean more in personal value.When I was young, those who loved me wondered what I would become. They were partially responsible for my development, and I guess that is why they were always there for me, but I was the one who made the final decision. Boy, if I could only turn back time. I can't, so it is only a waste of time to think about such a thing, especially now. I never made a name for myself, I only made the person who was the name. It wasn't mine to begin with, I didn't own it, it was given to me. A name is only temporary anyway. So why does it concern me so much? I can't take it with me, it only moves on to be owned, temporarily, by someone else. They will make the name into something altogether different. That doesn't bother me. I wish them well. I would try to encourage them to make better choices than I did, but it would be futile as they are just as much an individual as I am.Does a name have more meaning when it is entered in history? If so, to whom? I never thought about it that much before. I'm sure it is important for some, but I was never motivated by such a consideration. Some individuals want all of the attention, others are made uncomfortable by it. The 'great' names in history. It wasn't the name that was so great, but rather, the person behind the name. We know that, but the person still has to be known by a name otherwise, the attributes are impersonal and less likely to be remembered. So much goes into making a name that sometimes the person themselves are forgotten beyond their most notable attributes, yet they were so much more.Love. I'm in love. I've loved her for as long as I have known her. She knows it, and she loves me. I still have done things to disrupt that love. Why did I do it? Because I am still Turner, I am me for better or worse. The best I could do was just to try and limit the worse. I wasn't 'big' enough to overcome that. My stubborn side, and personal pride, always put that wall before me. I never put forth the effort to try and climb it, or use the wisdom I should have had to simply walk around it. No, I was Turner, and I did things my way no matter how many times I walked into that wall. I was satisfied with that, and so was the wall. Why wouldn't it have been, it was only a wall. I probably gave it purpose in my stubbornness. It validated my actions in a way. At least, it gave me something to blame when I was wrong and wasn't quite ready to accept my personal responsibility. We are still in love and I will miss her, at least for as long as I can remember her. I'm also in love with my daughter. How could anyone not love their child? Yet, some don't. Maybe they have more walls to deal with than I do. I should be happy about that. But right now, the wall is gone, and I soon will be. Brittany. As lovely a name as I could think of for such a lovely daughter. She isn't just a daughter, she is a part of the love she was created from. She is still young, and limited in words, but one little smile warms my heart more than any number of words ever could. Will she remember Turner? I don't think so. She'll remember me. Is there a difference? It doesn't matter. So why does it matter to me when I think of everyone but her? I don't know. I saw my parents getting older while I was more concerned about my own life. And why not? I was, after all, the focus of their lives. I continued with that same outlook until the birth of my daughter. Then, it wasn't all about me anymore. And, instead of repaying that effort of love to my parents, my life was still the center of my attention. But I knew they understood because I now knew them better than I ever did before. They will always remember Turner, and me, because I am he.Friends come and friends go. The only people who can hurt you more than friends are family. That's because you can get rid of friends, but never family. The bond of blood is not easily broken. Friends will never be family. You don't want them to be. They serve a different purpose. Serve. It makes it sound like they are being used. Well.....they are and you are, in a way. Is that so bad? Being useful has a purpose. Being useful to more people gives you more purpose. When that purpose erodes to the point of negative use, it is time to move on. "Best friends forever" are becoming a rarity. Why? Because there are too many Turner's out there. I never had a best friend. I don't even really know what that means? I've had friends, people I could trust, people I spent time with, and went places with, but I never knew what the word ‘best’ implied beyond that. I could say that my wife is my best friend, but my relationship with her is different than it is with my friends. I talk to them about things that I wouldn't with her. How could she be my best friend if that is so? Every question I ask seems to come right back to the source for an answer; Turner.I don't have the answers, only more questions. Maybe that is why older people don't talk about themselves so much. They've already realized that they can only account for themselves. They give advice on principle and expect others to understand, yet it is mostly in hindsight when they do. Who did the advice serve best? It served to confirm the understanding of the one who no longer needed it. If people can say that "youth is wasted on the young," then is it not also true that wisdom is wasted on the aged? I have proven that time and again in my case. The wisdom passed on to me would have made many decisions in my life easier if I had only listened. But I ignored that and made my own choices because I am Turner. I had plans for my family, myself, and my daughter. I had plans to help my parents. I had all kinds of plans while knowing all along that only a few of them would ever come to be. I planned anyway. It's what people do. If people remember me, they will never think of my plans because they belonged to me. Without me, they don't exist. That is what troubles me most. What is it that will exist without me? A name that doesn't belong to me in the first place? Something I've done to help someone? Is it only actions, good or bad, that will remain after I'm gone? It's not comforting to think about it, but it is all I can do now as I am helpless to change it.I had a plan tonight. I left work early to surprise the two most beautiful girls in my life. There was no special occasion for it, it was just something I wanted to do. I always liked to be original, at least I tried. Why do something for someone because you have to, or because everyone else is? That was never me. I had tickets to the walk-through aquarium, just recently opened in the city. Brittany was going to love it. Afterwards, dinner at our favorite restaurant. Since we frequented the place, we would be recognized when we walked in. They would greet me as they always did; Turner. We would then go home, put our daughter to bed, and then spend the remainder of the evening unwinding with a glass, or two, of wine while enjoying each others company. These are the times you know you are still in love. Could anyone ask for more? No matter what else occupies one's thoughts, time, energy, or purpose, the only fulfilling moments involve shared love. Plans change. Not always because a decision was made to purposely change that plan, but because sometimes circumstances dictate a change. It had nothing to do with my name, but it had everything to do with Turner. Sound odd? It did to me too. That is what they were calling me only, they kept saying “Mr. Turner.” The lights were bright and I was numb. I could still see and hear. Something was wrong, I knew that, but I just couldn't put it all together. "Stay with me Mr. Turner, we're almost there." Fine, I thought, I don't mind going with you. But where are we going and why? And why do you keep fading out of my vision when I start to think about my name?I hear other voices, and see lights flashing in the distance. I am once again the center of attention. Everyone is talking about me. Why does that feel so wrong? I still hear my name, but I am starting to tune that out. This is not where I am supposed to be, but I can't seem to do anything about that. Maybe if I tell them they can help me. I look up to the stranger leaning over me, busy with something or other, and explain my dilemma. It sounds perfect in my mind, but they do not understand. They pat me on my shoulder and nod their head. Now I am starting to get upset. I never did like it when people ignored me, and I wasn't about to let this person interfere with the evening I had planned. Yet every time I tried to straighten this mess out, it seemed as though I was only making it worse. I guess I would just have to give it more time. Time. Why does it seem different now. It is because I know. I know what it is.Turner is only my name. It doesn't matter if it was my surname, or a given name. It was me. Those who knew me best, and who loved me, would know why they did. They may need a reminder, from time to time, to recall certain things about me, and, hopefully, they would be memories worth remembering. Memories are one thing that time has no impact on. They are timeless as long as one source of the memory remains. My life is not written in any history book, nor is it known to those beyond the limited number of people I have met in my life. If I had more time, I would try to create more memories. The type of memories that encourage others when they think about them. The kind of memories that inspire. The person sitting by me now knows my name, but they do not know me. They will have a memory of me, but it is not the kind of memory I wanted to create.I know now that I won't be able to do the things I wanted to do. I've taken too many things for granted in my life. It's not an apology, it is just the way it is. I have no fear for myself, but there is a concern for those who remain. It's a shame that my concern wasn't more important to me when I could have actually done something about it. It's too late now. I am glad that I still have my memories, and I hope that they remain with me. They are a comfort. And no matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to think of one bad memory. Maybe that is how the mind works. It must care for me, even though it doesn't speak to me. It has shared in every decision I have been a part of, so it knows me quite well. Probably much better than I would want to admit. After all, the more I admit it, the more I have to accept the responsibility in how I used it. But now, it is providing me with what many people strive for; 'peace of mind.' You never think time will run out, but it does. It is not an enemy, it is just something you should take the time to understand and make work for you, and with you. Time doesn't think or care what you think, so don't bother with such an idea. My name is Turner, and my time has come.