I had to laugh out loud when I realized that the last blog post I created was one year ago today. One year seems so short when presented in word form. Just think about it. ONE. YEAR. Sounds quick and short and painless. But, rarely is that true. I guess it is all about perspective on a year. A year that you are anticipating your marriage to the love of your love does not feel like the same year that you are watching your loved one slip away to terminal illness. But, it is the same number of days, same number of hours, minutes, and seconds.
I have been hit with this overwhelming recognition of how fast time is going of late. My friend’s sweet kids that I watched being born (well, not literally) are in middle school and embarking on high school and college. They are talking about big dreams and it seems I was just buying a baby shower present for them.
I am starting my 21st year in my career this week. I still have to tell myself that I am not the new girl anymore. I am daily reminded of this when our amazing new faculty and staff frequently say “Ma’am” to me or call me Ms. Fabian. When did I transition into that?
I look at technology. Things that were “revolutionary” just a while ago are things we laugh out now. I remember my fifth year of my career when my principal gave me her desk top computer – one of my own – in my office. I thought I had won the lottery. It was huge but, I had my own computer. Now, we all buzz around the building with our own little portable things than enable us to communicate with each other and the world in a flash. Where did all those disks go?
As I was leaving the house to go to 9R this week I walked past a mirror and had to stop for a double take. I looked closer at my shirt. Where did all of those little holes come from? I had the fleeting thought that there was a rat or some nightmare of a critter munching on my clothes. I pondered it a minute and then it hit me. I purchased that Clemson shirt in the Spring of 1995. That shirt is over 20 years old. (maybe that could explain the holes or was it just bad quality? 🙂
TIME. Sometimes it flies. Sometimes it drags on and on.
Five years. Five years since I heard his voice. Five years since I felt his bear hug. Five years since I heard the sweet sound of “There she is!” or “How’s my girl?” Five years since there was a gift under the tree “To: Mary Anne Love, Daddy” Five summers we haven’t analyzed the Clemson football team together in preparation for the fall. Five summers he hasn’t been on a trip with us.
Then comes the realization of all of the things that are a normal part of my life today that he never knew. He never got to meet Dollie Mae and snuggle with her. They would have been quite the dynamic duo. He hasn’t met the tribe or the leader of the tribe – the group of people that I love so much my heart could just burst. He hasn’t had the opportunity to be in awe of the tribe leader’s strength and bravery and faith and determination. He hasn’t gotten to love the tribe for their smiles and manners and hugs and intelligence and joy. He didn’t get to know Mom as Birdie or me as Mary Aunt. He hasn’t been able to see Deshaun Watson play at Death Valley or gotten to eat at a Cheesecake Factory in the state of South Carolina.
(On the flip side – he didn’t have to face the fact that Mom painted the dining room table white or have to determine who to vote for in 2016)
“yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. ” James 4:14
Just a mist. All of these things are just a mist. As wonderful has some of them are and as awful as some life situations are – just a small tiny dot on the entire map of eternity. Lovely thought to be reminded that I will have the most time to spend with my Daddy yet. Eternity. No time. No stop. No end. No tears. No pain. Earth is not our home. The best is yet to come.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4
This notebook contains a copy of every Colonel Chronicles that I wrote during Dad’s journey. It contains a print out of every email, card, word of encouragement that I received during the hard and painful Summer of 2011. I read through it tonight. I stared at the cover. The picture on the front still warms my heart. My heavenly Father holds me as time is hard.
“For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours.” Psalm 90:4
So, I am sure I will not miss him any less on August 11 of 2018, or 2025, or 2030. But, I am sure that no matter the year, the time will be getting closer to meet Jesus face to face. This is true for us all.
(If you are reading my blog for the first time and are curious to hear our family’s journey through my Dad’s illness go back and check out all of The Colonel Chronicles (tab above) They are in chronological order and tell our story. And as always, if you want to know more about my faith and my Heavenly Father and the love and peace that comes from a relationship with Him, I would love nothing more than to tell you what I know.)