Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Just Passing By

Taylor called and asked if I’d write her a letter of recommendation. She’s applying to colleges for admission in the fall of 2011. Taylor is getting ready to leave? When did that happen?

Jake says he’s taller than his dad, by about half an inch. He’s leaning forward to a time that is not yet while I find myself too often leaning back, reaching for a time that is no more. I told Jake that no matter how tall he gets, he’ll always look up to his dad. Jake got it.

Like I still look up to my dad. There are some days, like today, when I just wish I could pick up the phone and give him a call. There are so many things I’d like to talk about. Sometimes, I’m almost reaching for the phone when it occurs to me that I can’t call dad. He died in January of 2005. Mom died nineteen years before that.

There are so many conversations I’d really like to have with my parents, conversations you can only have with the people who nurtured you in your earliest years and only once you’ve reached life’s midpoint. I guess those conversations will just have to wait.

Sometimes I wish I weren’t so nostalgic. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want not to feel as deeply as I do, though sentiment can overwhelm me at times. Old music, old movies, a picture of an aging friend on Facebook can all take me back decades in a split second. If I’m not careful, I can get trapped in the past, losing that careful balance between reliving a wonderful time and trying to live in another time other than this one moment. This day is the day the Lord has made.

Years ago, a friend told me that you cannot hold onto life. You can only kiss it as it passes by. I kiss Nancy a lot. I give lots of hugs, to my sons when I see them, even to Taylor and Jake and all the other kids shooting up like weeds on a hot summer day. Even to their parents. You never know when you’ll look up and little children will be grown and gone, conversations you should have had must be put on hold and you wish life’s passing would slow down, just a little.

I do savor life more now. I sip instead of gulp, trying to really taste before I swallow to make room for the next bite.

The more I kiss and the more I hug, the better I do. I only get in trouble when I try to hold on to what is just passing by.

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