Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Value of Time

Almost everyone in the picture above is dead. The youngster sitting on the car roof is in his seventies. The fellow out on the edge of the picture on the right is my dad--he's eighty-seven. And the guy, second on the left in the front is his brother who is eighty-three. The dark-haired woman behind the third man in front her nineties and unfortunately, not really sure who the rest of us are.

Now, I guess you're wondering why I'm telling you this. It's simple. Time is precious.

When I was a youngster, most of the folks in the picture were around all the time. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and of course, my own parents. Within ten years of the time this picture was taken, my paternal grandfather died of a blood clot during surgery and my mother died in a car crash. Both were unexpected and far too young to be dead.

While I was growing up, there were times when I had occasional flashes of wisdom to realize my family members wouldn't always be around. When you're young, you think your life will always be the same, but I'd lost my mom so underneath that veneer of security, I knew that wasn't true.

Once I was an adult, I had a better idea of life's realities, but still...old age was far off. And then it seemed it wasn't as far off as I believed. My older family members started dying--some of old age, some of cancer, and others from other ailments. Abruptly, the family circle was down to three or four.

A couple days ago I spoke to my father. It was a casual call, checking on them because I know the weather is bad where they live. We talked about everything from the neighbors, to the unusual snow on the ground to an acquaintance of theirs who brings negativity to an entirely new level. None of our conversation was earthshaking or soul searching, but it was reaching out, touching his heart. He mentioned another person he tried to call several different times, but after very brief conversations this individual always had something to do. Dad said, "What he really means is he doesn't have time for me."

I try to call my parents at least twice a week. They live 1800 miles away. I can't just drop by whenever I want to see them. But I can call. I can spend whatever time they have to talk with me. Do they tell me the same old stories over and over? Yep. Do they lose their train of thought? Oh, yeah. So do I. Do I love them? With all my heart.

Some day, probably not too far in the future, they'll be gone. And then, all my precious time won't bring them back. So if you have someone you love, pick up that phone. We all spend time on things we find important. Ask yourself, just how important are they? Enough to give up a television program? Or a computer game? Or any of the other silly nonsense we spend time on?

Make the call.


  1. My mother was just telling me today how she and a friend she's had since she was 11 were discussing how few people there are who remember the things they do. It makes them love and appreciate each other even more.

  2. Memories are fragile and only go as far as the participants are around to remember. That's why I try to share mine...

  3. How true I try to talk to mom and dad evey week just to make sure evey thing is OK and to see what going on now.

  4. Excellent post I call Dad at least once a week and I send him copies of my blog. He said he really enjoyed the last batch. I already have another batch ready to go.