Some of the most treasured memories in life come from our youth. This September, I was granted the privilege of visiting with a family I knew from my High School days. During the three days in September, I was reminded of lessons learned over the course of forty years and introduced to new ones. Here is a summary of things experienced during those three days.
Time does not stand still
“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different.” -C.S. Lewis
I will spare you the details of those three days with my best friend and his Dad. There are some moments in life we need to cherish, not all moments are created equal. I arrived to their home and was initially transported back to my youth. The places we played, the hours of playing basketball and being teenagers. Yet, we were all version 2.0 of our original selves, that is to say, time had changed us. We had an evening of talking with each other, several hours worth. Conversation is becoming a lost art in a society that promotes social interaction on some variety of electronics. It is in the quiet moments of our life, the moments we look at the deeper issues of our existence where we rediscover, in some cases discover our identity. First take away, slow down and enjoy every moment of life.
“In the end there doesn’t have to be anyone who understands you. There just has to be someone that wants to.” – Robert Brault
The regrets of our youth. Being young is such a tumultuous time. Trying to understand who you really are, and not having the tools to accomplish the job. Some of my favorite memories of those three days were breakfast. It was not grab an egg McMuffin while running to an event. We ate, we drank coffee and started our day with a couple hours conversation (there’s that word again). Listening to my friends Dad was such a treat. I knew this man had wisdom but there was a deeper level than I expected. His wife was in a treatment center, suffering with dementia, during the time of Covid19. The scenario was grim, yet, I saw love and grace in an abundance many marriage counselors would be pressed to describe in words. The two understood all they needed about each other. Time had taken its toll on their bodies, and to a degree their minds, but not their love for each other. Watching the two of them, screened off, not able to even touch each other was hard to watch, but beautiful in the same frame. Second take away, love is not a feeling, it is a commitment to care for another.
“Life is what happens as we plan for the future.” – John Lennon
The final night of the visit brought most of the family together. My best friend’s sister and one brother were there with their husband and wife repectively . We sat outside during a pandemic and enjoyed a great meal, but better yet, enjoyed the lives we had lived. For a few wonderful moments, time did stand still only because we had willed it to be that way. Our lives are lived on a balance beam, one side is the vast abyss of our past, the other side the enormity of the future, the present being a very small sliver of wood we try to balance ourselves on. Live in the present. My childhood memories, great as they are, paled in comparison to the moments I had during those three days. Third take away, the only life you are guaranteed, is the moment you are living right now, make every moment count.
“Goodbyes are not forever, goodbyes are not the end, it simply means I will miss you, until we meet again.” – Unknown
Like every great event, there is a beginning and an end. If I had to describe the visit with my second family it would be “A connection of many beautiful moments”. This blog is not necessarily for your benefit, but a release for me. I needed to put into words three days that cannot adequately be described. Many of you have memories of such events. Take time to enjoy the relationships God has given to you. When life does come to an end, relationships are the only thing that will matter. May the God of Peace and Love keep you safe and in his love.