Times of Your Life

Today is my grandson Ethan’s sixteenth birthday. It seems like it was just yesterday when he was born. I remember holding him in the NICU, praying for Sara, my daughter, and Ethan to be healthy (Thank You, God, they were.)

Years have flown by.

Ethan plays basketball and soccer, has wonderful friends, is intelligent, creative, witty, and kind, and cares about his family. He has my heart always, and we say “I love you” each time we leave each other.

Time is so fragile, like an ice cube melting on a metal table in the summer’s heat. 

This remarkable young man who towers over me seemed like a child just yesterday. Now a sophomore in high school, he’s contemplating what’s next. The world is his to explore. And, just like I’ve always wished and prayed for my beautiful granddaughter, Lauren, I want only what is fulfilling and joy-filled for him too. Our perception of time changes the longer we walk on this planet. Ethan acknowledged that, too, when he said one day, “Time is going so fast.” (As I’m writing this, tears are falling on my keyboard because of my awareness of the swiftness of the clock in this temporary reality.)

Life seems to be on hyperspeed. And each year flies by in what seems like a heartbeat. My family and dearest friends, not possessions, money, or experiences (although I love having those with my family), will always be what matter most to me, above all else:

I want to hold on to each moment, just like I wanted to with Sara and Erin. I try to freeze-frame each second. I’ve always wanted to memorize each time my child or grandchild reached for my hand, smiled, laughed, or was in awe.

I’ve always loved to hear my grandchildren tell me stories about school, soccer, friends, aspirations, and life. I loved questions, even the ones I couldn’t answer (although there are fewer questions now than a decade ago). It reminds me of when Sara and Erin were children. More than four decades have passed since I became a mother, and those have flown by in a heartbeat.

My intention is to live into every moment, experience, and opportunity, but, despite believing and preaching that, there are times I fail in my humanness, so the journey continues.

For all of us, our human time will be gone in a “blink of an eye.” There are no “do-overs” in this particular life. I realize how fragile life is as I tell you my stories of love and pain, hope and failure, faith and fear, laughter, peace, and joy.

I think about holding my daughters’ and grandchildren’s tiny hands in mine as we walked down streets and through experiences and years that have gone much too fast. These are the moments that I hope stay etched in my mind forever.

Even in my times of darkness, I am so grateful.
I know I’m blessed to walk this life with them.

Thank You, God, for all I have.
Thank You for the family and friends I love so much.
Thank You for the opportunity to experience life.
Thank You for the tears that spill down my cheeks as I write this because my heart is so overflowing

Making time for what matters most; that’s really all we have, isn’t it?

Happy Birthday Ethan. I love you more.

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