Friday, May 16, 2008

Time Does Fly

While some believe that time flies when you are having a good time, let's face it, time really does it's best flying as you grow older, good time being had or not. When you are a kid a ride of any distance in the car brings the thought to mind and then of course to lips, “are we there yet?” When you're a kid time and distance mean very little to you. As a kid there are exceptions to all things. When you are young and you are playing outside after dinner you suddenly have a sense of time when you see the sun fall behind the neighbor's house, you know that before long it will drop below the horizon and the street lights will come on and then you will have to go in and do the things that go with the end of the day and then you recognize time, it's time to go to bed, ready or not.

As we age the concept of time changes, as teens we feel like time is our ocean and we can play in its surf forever. The fact that the street lights have come on doesn't mean that we have to put our bikes in the garage and go in for the night. In fact, when we get closer to our twenties we think of sunset as the real beginning of our day, the time when we don't have to think about school, we can visit with friends, tuck away into our private space and put the bear buds on our iPod in and forget the world as we drift away in that infinite sea of time.

Yet, as we grow older time moves faster. In fact, I have heard our lives compared to rolls of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end the quicker the tube rolls. I think that is fairly accurate. It feels to me some days that I have no more shaved and brushed my teeth until I'm back in front of the mirror the next morning looking at my puffy eyes all over again.

All of this thought on the relativity of time stems from my thinking today of how things move so quickly for some and so slowly for others as I look the second anniversary of my father's death in the face. For me it often seems as though he died just a month or so ago and then there are times when I feel like it has been a pair of years. Today, it has felt like both.

I visited the unit that Pop was in at Methodist Hospital this evening. I do so every now and then, I drop off a note of encouragement to patients and their families. I sign them with the nickname that my father gave me, he being the only one allowed to use it. When you are in the hospital or a health care residence of any kind, time passes so slowly and there are times that you want it to go faster and times you are glad that it doesn't. Having someone leave a card on your tray table while you're napping helps to pass time in a good way.

Pop and I had a rough start, to say otherwise would be stretching the truth dangerously thin. We had a smooth finish though and for that I am so very grateful. I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have had more time with him, what wisdom would I have heard or seen? I think I would have learned more about the things he did for others, quietly and at the right time.

That isn't how it worked out though and it's then that I think about the wisdom of King Solomon when he said, “to everything there is a time and a season to every purpose under heaven.” There is too, a time to put your bike away when the street lights come on and then later you realize that there is a time to answer the call to go to, “that house not made with hands.”

Time does fly.


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