Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Essence of Time

A couple of weeks ago, dad was moved to a long term care unit in the hospital where he has been for the last ten weeks. Wow, ten weeks! It is amazing how our brains process time. It seems like only a few days ago dad went into the hospital yet, it also seems like he has been there for years. Where does the time go?

I recall spending my childhood days wishing for summer; school would be over and I could do all the fun things kids do when they aren’t in school. Then, as soon as it came, summer was over and it was time to go back to school again. Then the wish was for Christmas break and so on and so on the cycle continued. I began to think about these things recently when the Crimson Tide of Alabama faced the warthogs…ummmmm…. I mean Razorbacks of Arkansas. I had promised my dad I would spend the afternoon watching the game with him. Having been in SICU, I had not been able to spend more than a few minutes with him in over eight weeks. We enjoyed most of the game together but the nurses came in and gave him his medication just at the start of the fourth quarter causing him to fall asleep almost immediately. Even though he slept, I kept my promise and stayed to watch the remainder of the game, including two overtimes. These few hours will likely remain in my memory as some of the most precious times I have ever spent with my dad. Mike Shula’s boys lost the game but I won some much needed time with my dad.

This is the essence of time; it is not necessarily how you spend the time but simply that you took the time to spend with your loved one or friend. Many times we tend to be too busy to spend time with those we care about. Something always comes up and causes us to put off spending time with those closest to us. I recall a song by Harry Chapin that starts off like this:

A child arrived just the other day

He cam to the world in the usual way

But there were planes to catch and bills to pay

He learned to walk while I was away.

And he learned to talk before I knew and as he grew,

He said “I’m gonna be like you, dad,

You know I’m gonna be like you”

Many of you probably remember the rest of the song. I can look back on my life and say I was much like the boy; I wanted to be like my dad. And as time passed, I can see all the times I had other things to do and did not go see my parents. Dad always tried to spend as much time with me as possible but there were those times when something else took the place of our time together. My dad may not have been the best dad but he was the best one I will ever have. I know I have a few precious days left with my dad (I already miss not talking to him on the phone every evening), so I am making the best of the times I can spend with him. I am also trying to make a conscious effort to spend time with my mom or at least calling her every day or so just to say hi because I know my time is limited with her, also, even though she is quite healthy. I am also trying to make time for other relatives that I just don’t get to see or talk to very often. But most of all I am trying to make sure I spend quality time with my daughter on a regular basis. I want her to know that she is important enough for me to spend time reading, playing dolls or just sitting and watching her movies.

We are only on this earth for a short period of time and we should use that time wisely. Taking time out of our busy schedules to spend with others could very well make all the difference in someone’s life; It says “You are important to me and I care about you”, you never even have to say a word. This is the Essence of Time!

Brad Walker

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