Indulge me for a moment please…
This weekend, most of us will be thinking a lot about fathers. But, there’s one father we all share, one who impacts everyone who has ever lived and everything that’s ever been, and I bet no one is sending out Father’s Day cards to him this weekend. And I’m pretty sure that this father isn’t the one you think I’m talking about.
He can build mountains. He can shift oceans. He can heal all wounds. And when he’s depicted, it’s often as an old man, dressed in a robe, with a wispy white beard cascading from his face. I’m referring to the old kick in the pants some of us refer to as Father Time. He is a powerful piece of personification, and he’s been on my mind a lot lately.
It was a two-day, cross-state journey. Four hours of freeways with noisy kids in the back seat, and lots of complaining about time. When will we get there? How much longer? In their young age, that’s what time means to them; it’s how long they must endure the insufferable wait until their next snack or play date. For them, time has yet to reveal itself to be a resource. They believe they have all the time they’ll ever need.
Our destination was a visit with my 92-year-old grandmother. She is in gradually failing health, but she’s achieved that inexplicable, reassuring presence some of us gain when we are at peace with the end of our life. For her, time isn’t quite a resource anymore. It’s the final few pages of a novel, with the last of the plot lines getting tied up just right.
And for me, time is a gift. I cherish the time I spent with her connecting, sharing and loving in ways I wasn’t capable of when I was younger. I appreciate her so much more now than I ever could have in my youth or before I became a mother. She’s somewhat of a wonder to me, and I feel an immense sense of gratitude to have had her in my life this long. We’ve said our goodbyes a multitude of times, but this most recent time was different – it seemed final, more absolute – which is fitting being that it may have been our last farewell.
And therein lies the lesson time has to teach us. Be grateful for all of your moments soaking up the joy and sorrow of life, the time witnessing the world’s beauty as well as the time enduring its hardships. They are all precious, and they are precious because they don’t last forever.
And so, with that, I’d like to offer what could be a Father’s Day first — a special thank you to Father Time. Thank you for always being there, and thank you for making the things we love so priceless by constantly reminding us of their impermanence.
Happy Fathers Day!