Life is too short. Unfortunately, that appears to become clear to us only when we are faced with the end of our life, or the life of a loved one. While we make our way through the doldrums of everyday life,we often find that time slips by quickly, almost completely without notice. Suddenly another week has gone by and another month, soon we are celebrating another birthday, and our pets are beginning to get white around their muzzle.With a loved one in my family at the mercy of a fatal illness, time is a commodity. I keep looking back and wondering if there was a way that I could have made more of the time we spent together which now seems so brief. There is no way to stop the marching on of time. Each day I am painfully aware of the ticking of the clock, aware of what the family faces in just a short time. That the end of her life will be the end of my life as I know it, in so many crucial ways. That our extended family will grow distant without her presence as the glue that binds us together. That my children will no longer learn life lessons in love, in how to give of oneself unselfishly, in how to be a mother. That I will no longer have her unconditional love and guidance, her unselfish way of letting me know that I made her proud, or happy, or simply that I made her laugh.