Posted by: Peadar Ban | October 6, 2012

AARON! A Meditation on A Life

It is only five minutes long.  That sounds almost like a line from an old song.   “Only five minutes more…” some young swain pleads to his girl.  Frank Sinatra made a hit out of the fellow pleading for five minutes more to stay in the arms of his beloved.

That’s sort of what the video you may view in the link below is about, you know.  In just five minutes it pierces and lays bare the deep regret over choosing the wrong thing and sadness and heart rending longing of love lost that is the result of that choice.  The video you will see begins so happily, just like the song, and like the song says, happiness always seems to go so fast.

Doesn’t it?  I remember falling in love, and I remember our courtship, how the time alone, the time between seeing and being with my beloved dragged so.  Isn’t the literature of love full of that stuff? But, oh, I remember how the clock raced when we were together.

I remember, too, the birth, infancy and growing up of my children.  Now, in what seems like only a few months since their own infancy, I have grand children in college.  Why I could swear that only last week I was blowing out the candle on my daughter’s first birthday cake while she painted her face with icing.  Swiftly flow the years.  Don’t they!

Think of your own children, and of their children here and not yet here.

Think of yourself, and wonder.

Go ahead, take next five minutes and  think about them,  but only five minutes.


“If you have a vacuum aspiration abortion, it takes literally 5 minutes.”  This information is the answer I received when I asked the question just now on the internet.  Only five minutes.

Have you five minutes to spare?   Five minutes to think about life, one life?

Abraham and his wife Sarah thought long years about one life, and prayed they be allowed just one child.  She, especially, suffered the shame of childlessness in a culture when to be unable to bear a child was considered almost a curse.  At last, one life was given them, Isaac.  And from Isaac came the answer to the promise made to Abraham that he would give rise to descendants as numerous as the sand on the shore, the stars in the sky.

One of them was the young girl Mary, who became pregnant before her marriage in a time when women were executed for doing that.  And from her, believe as you will, came the man whose life and teachings changed the world forever.  Was her interview with the Archangel more or less than five minutes?  Certainly the story of the Annunciation can be read within that time.

The film is five minutes long.  Only that.  We meet Aaron and his mother on his birthday.  I was instantly involved in the joy on the woman’s face, the sweet contentment that flowed through her, that flowed from her in the scene when she wakes her son, Aaron.  I had the feeling that I was watching a documentary, not a short drama.

You will love Aaron, and why not.  He’s a beautiful boy.

But, things change.  I was amazed at my reaction to the change.  I did not want it to come, but I knew I could not do anything to stop it.  What happens is cruel and painful and achingly sad.  I knew the cruelty.  I felt the pain and the sadness and I very much wished that it could have been anything but what it was.

Such changes, did you know, take place almost 120, 000 times a day in the world.  It may have taken you five minutes to read this far.  It will take you five minutes to watch the film,  During that time cruel pain and aching sadness will have taken place somewhere in the world a little more than 400 times.

Since my first child was born, my rough calculations put the toll of sadness at nearly 2,000,000,000.

No joy however intense can overcomes that.  No happiness can match it.  No victory can surpass this defeat.  No reason can explain it.  No period of time can erase it.  None of us are immune to the sadness that covers us like the ashes from the ovens of the insane crematoria covered the victims waiting their turns.  It is in the air we breath, in our blood, our souls.

I did not weep for Aaron’s mother in the little film at the end of the five minutes.  She had weeping of her own to do.  I have mine.  You have yours.  All of us have weeping to do.

Frank Sinatra had a hit with this song “Five Minutes More” in the days when five minutes did not toll the loss of so much everywhere.  Listen, and try to remember:

Five Minutes More

Dear, this evening seemed to go so awfully fast
We had so much fun and now you’re home at last
I look forward to a kiss or two at the garden gate
But she gave me just a peck and insisted it was late

Give me five minutes more, only five minutes more
Let me stay, let me stay in your arms
Here am I, begging for only five minutes more
Only five minutes more of your charms

All week long I dreamed about our Saturday date
Don’t you know that Sunday morning you can sleep late?
Give me five minutes more, only five minutes more
Let me stay, let me stay in your arms

All week long I dreamed about our Saturday date
Don’t you know that Sunday morning you can sleep late?
Give me five minutes more, only five minutes more
Let me stay, let me stay in your arms

Ah, come on


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