"So Much Wasted Time"
“So much wasted time.”
According to his daughter Katie, these were David Cassidy’s last words, spoken minutes before he died on Tuesday, November 21.
If you were a teenage girl in 1972 you were a Donny-girl or a Michael-girl or a Bobby-girl or a David-girl. (If you have to ask “who?” you weren’t a teenage girl in 1972.)
I was a David girl. David Cassidy. I never missed an episode of The Partridge Family, Friday night at 8:00. My father would audiotape the show and put the cassette player by my bed so I could listen to it again as I went to sleep. Tiger Beat magazine once put ¼ of a David Cassidy poster in the centerfold so that anticipation was stretched over 4 months (and four purchases with babysitting money) to get the complete poster. I carefully kept each piece until I had the whole David to adore…and I did. His birthday is two days after mine, April 12. I always thought that was a sign. Of what, I was never sure, but one more mystic link between me and David. And, as God is my witness, as April 12 rolled around year after year – I thought of David, long into my adult years.
David died this week at age 67. Post-Partridge life was hard on my crush. In spite of a talent that sold out stadiums worldwide and resulted in Platinum-selling records, Cassidy’s success never outpaced the teen-idol moniker in the United States. (Europe was much more appreciative of his talent and he toured overseas much of 1975-78.) He tried Broadway with limited success and was nominated for an Emmy award for his television work.
Cassidy struggled with alcohol his entire life and in 2008 admitted his addiction and entered into what would be the first of six tries at rehab. He had three failed marriages. He had two children from whom he was estranged most of their lives. He died bankrupt and suffering from dementia.
When the (once) wealthy and famous die they teach us that we have what money couldn't buy: today.
So Much Wasted Time.
I have an almost visceral reaction to those words. Perhaps because of my own advancing age I know that the years ahead are far fewer than the years behind. Time is the most valuable of currency, irreplaceable, and one never knows if the next withdrawal is our last. I’ve always had a fear of mediocrity – the greatest demonstration of which is dying having wasted time.
Recently I was reading Psalm 39:4 “ Show me, Lord, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.” I read that and said aloud to the God Who knows me so well “God, I know how fleeting my life is…but do YOU!?!? Let’s get moving here with the ‘what next’ of life!” Such an aversion I have to dying with purpose unfulfilled, dying with opportunity wasted, dying with words unspoken, dying with lives unchanged. Wasting time.
In the words of the Apostle James 13:4 “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
Wow. That's harsh. But true.
For a little while and then vanishes. May we today remember to value our “little while.” To pursue with our whole heart that thing God has placed before us. To pursue Him. To know in the core of our being that life is but a vapor. Just like us, every name that follows "here lies..." once believed tomorrow was a given, until it was taken.
Ironically, perhaps David Cassidy gave us the greatest gift with his last words. So much wasted time. A reminder to cherish the gift of today; to expend every minute living in God's now and in anticipation of God's "next."
Rest in His peace, David.