Time

The past is just a memory. The future is unforseeable. All we have is right here, right now. 

This very moment. 

I’m hearing stories of my father-in-law. 

Of how he grew up with a twin sister and they were the second youngest of 17 kids. 

Of how his first job working at gas station, he made $25 a week and would give most of it away to kids for new shoes, or to go to the circus, or for fries and drink, or to go to the movies. 

Of how much he loved kids, particularly his grandkids. He would walk for hours to get a granddaughter to sleep when her father just couldn’t do it. He always had a joke or would act a clown to make them laugh. He would pass them his spare change. He always had a treat for them.

Of how he knew so many people and touched so many lives in big ways and small. Whether through an act of kindness, the giving of a nickname, or just talking their ears off, he was an influence far and wide. 

Of his use of the English language. There were no swear words in his vocabulary, though he swore enough to make a sailor blush. To him they were just verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. 

Of his days working as a welder.  I’m told that whatever job he was on he was always one of the best. Though that doesn’t surprise me because he always took pride in his work. 

Of how he loved company. He truly believed the more the merrier. He’d invite friends and tell them to bring their friends. It wasn’t uncommon for friends to arrive with their friend’s friends. Then he would start up the BBQ and feed you. 

Of how some animals liked his home better than their owners’ home so they’d come live with him instead. He adopted stray cats. He adopted a bearded dragon that couldn’t travel with his granddaughter. 

Of how he would bail kids out of trouble. He would give them a place to sleep when they were tired. He would feed them when they were hungry. 

Of how much he gave. His money. His time. His tools. His Jeep. A listening ear or an earful. His home. 

He gave me his greatest treasure… His daughter and his family. For that I’m forever grateful. 

His memorial service was Saturday. There was food and a few swear words, the place was packed, memories shared and laughter rang through the tears. 

Too Fast

Einstein said that time is relative. The faster you travel the slower it goes. Imagine 2 minutes. Sitting next to a celebrity you’d like most like to meet for two minutes and it’ll be over in a flash. Hold your hand over a candle flame for two minutes and it’ll feel like eternity.

Now, imagine 7 years. At the time of this writing, 7 years ago was 2007. On one hand it seems long ago. Do you remember a book you read? Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and A Thousand Splendid Suns were published in 2007. Or perhaps a movie you watched? Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Simpsons Movie, and 300 were all released in 2007. Jordin Sparks won American Idol that year. Seems long ago, doesn’t it? It also happens to be the year our first son was born.

Kids grow up so fast. If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard a million times. My go to response is,

Nothing shows the passage of time like watching your kids grow.
~Me

That was also the year our first son was born. He had such a rough start in life. He was born with a congenital heart defect that required open heart surgery when he was only five days old. Though it was 7 years ago, I remember it like it happened yesterday.

Anyway, that was 7 years ago. His heart defect sure didn’t slow his growth. He’s outgrowing clothes at a phenomenal rate. He’s always hungry. As I look back on the past 7 years I can’t help but also look ahead. Though, I don’t like to think about how much he’ll be eating when he’s a teenager. That’s 7 years from now. He’ll be in high school. (WHAT?!)

So much has happened since he was born. We had a major move. His brother was born. An Uncle passed away. Friends got married and had kids of their own. We’re on our 4th vehicle and 3rd apartment. There have been some big changes in seven years.

It’s always the people who have older kids or their kids are grown. I, too, am guilty of telling someone with a new baby that time passes quickly. It’s not so much the day to day routine that passes quickly. It’s the weeks, the months, and years that zip by. Sure the last 7 years since our first born came into the world has gone quickly, but what about the time I was 7? 30 some years ago there were no cells phones, internet, and if you wanted to play video games you played Atari. But what if my parents think back to when they were 7? I think George Washington had just become president! (Just kidding ma and pa!) When they were 7 schools were still being desegregated. No one had gone to the moon and a gallon of gas was 31 cents.

The moral of the story? Enjoy it while it lasts. For nothing very, very good or very, very bad last for very, very long.

Now I leave you with a picture from 7 years ago…

7 years ago