"Every empty bottle is filled with stories." ~ Anonymous
Time is one of our most valuable possessions. It's fleeting and no matter how you look at time it's fluid, always moving forward. Time never really gives back instead time just reminds us it's already past by us. Stepping back, looking at my life as a whole I'm aware time stops for no one. At 43 years old I can see how quickly time has indeed continued to march on in-spite of all my protests. The reality is ,"life is a collection of moments." This has never been so real to me as this very moment. The truth is none of us are invincible, not one. Time takes from us what it will and when our time is spent, comes to collect us ready or not, young or old. I faced this reality much too young. I looked time in the eyes the day cancer came knocking on my door with her sickle and a pocket watch in hand. Now I'm again realizing how precious time is, how it speeds by without a second thought. Lately I've been evaluating my life and all it holds. I see how my children have grown, preparing for lives of their own.They are no longer babies, but men. I look at my own hands and I see how they have aged. After all it's been over 20 years since the love of my life slipped a wedding ring on my finger and I one on his. And then I look to my parents and I'm filled with love, warm memories and the reality they too are getting older. There's a great quote I often think of. It goes something like this, "Love your parents. We are so busy growing up, we often forget they are also growing old." Now let me say this in light of that quote, my parents aren't old, not in the way one may think. I really don't know if my parents will ever be old in terms defined as out of date or bygone, maybe vintage but never old. No, my folks are not elderly in anyway speaking, they are just aging like a fine wine.
Life in our family has never been boring or run-of-the-mill that's for sure. Our life defined would probably read more like this: never a dull moment or hitting the ground running. To be honest it's been pretty remarkable. All the places we've been, the sites we've seen and the people we've met along the way have only made our time here together sweeter. And no there is nothing about our lives that has been remotely near ordinary. Today, time is moving so much quicker than ever before. For years we thought we had nothing but time but the truth is just as the song by JIM CROCE says,"There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do." But in understanding these simple lyrics, I wonder how can we not make more of our time together count? And so again I'm reminded of the song,'Time in a Bottle.' I can't stop thinking of how much I love and how much I'm loved by my family, by my parents as those famous words ring inside my head,"If I could save time in a bottle the first thing that I'd like to do is to save every day till eternity passes away just to spend them with you."
I love how my parents still go to theme parks, take road trips and go to a midnight movie together with us. They refuse to be left behind, to have things "above their pay grade" anymore as my dad says and have chosen to stay current in tech, books, TV, music and movies. My dad, though close to retiring finally still works 12 hour shifts in his 70's and doesn't complain one bit. I love the life we have with my parents and the life we have as a family together. I can't stand the idea of not being able to see my parents weekly, to call my mom and hear her voice or laughing with my dad so hard we're both in tears. To be honest it brings strong emotions to my heart when I think of both of them. I just love them so much. I have been given so much love, adoration, security and freedom to be myself all these years I have no idea how I'll ever live without them. I have been blessed to have lived the life I have. I've been more than fortunate to have been raised in a family such as mine. I can't argue the privilege I've been afforded. While I've had a tough road, I've been happy. Going through my mom's hope chest as of late, pulling out her prom tiara and my old baby shoes or shifting through old pictures from their wedding day to my dad carrying me on his shoulders has been beautiful. Yet with those moments have also come the ones deciding when time stands still where this and that will go. Yes those minutes have almost been too much to bare honestly. I don't want to think about it, entertain any of it but as we've been preparing my parents for retirement , this is where we've found ourselves on occasion. Leo Christopher says this, "There's only one thing more precious than our time and that's who we spend it on." The truth is I won't ever look back and regret any of the time I've spent with my parents. Every minute I've been blessed with their presence is a gift. The legacy they leave to me is one of unconditional love, courage, joy, Jesus and happiness. My parents brought me up to simply be me, no strings attached. I am far from perfect but I am their daughter and for that I am thankful.
Life Lesson #115 ~ Time in a Bottle is spoken from my heart...gently and yet passionately. The truth is we can't hold back time or hide it away for safe keeping inside a bottle. Time is fluid, free-flowing, open-ended and yes of the essence. Something many us know all too well I'd imagine. I guess what I'm trying to say is time is precious. Let go of what holds you back, set free what isn't yours and hold tightly to those you love. We never know when our time here is up so spend it wisely. As David Duchemin says, "Guard your time fiercely. Be generous with it, but be intentional with it." I plan to do just that: to be deliberate, conscious and purposeful in the ways I spend my time. As Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; ..."