I think of all things I miss, the one thing I miss is the thing I never really had. Now, of course, I remember what it was like to be young and I remember what it was like to have a father. Of course, we had tie together but my memory of The Old Man is vague and hazy.
I remember him teaching me how to throw a football. I remember him teaching me how to snap my wrist to get a better spiral. I never played much football though. I was never big, strong, or fast enough to play on the field. I did play in the peewee leagues though.
I played a little baseball too, which was a little boring to me because I used to play in the outfield and when you’re a little kid, no one ever hits the ball to the outfield.
At best, the ball rolls down the third base line. Still though, I do have a memory of The Old Man and me on a sunny day. It was the kind of spring day when the real warmth had just begun and the Earth had thawed from a long winter’s nap.
The Old Man had salt and pepper hair, which was a little shaggy, and this was the style in the 70’s. I vaguely remember sideburns on The Old Man. He was younger then and in better shape. I remember the sky above us was blue and the sun was bright enough for The Old Man to wear a pair of sunglasses. The town we lived we less intense at the time. Traffic was less bothersome and the neighborhood was true to the word, “Suburban.”
I remember The Old Man teaching me how to pitch in the vacant lot next to the baseball fields. Everything around us was so perfectly green.
There is a picture I keep of this in my mind. It was the world’s most perfect day; it was the kind of day where little kids flew kites in the air and chased them around. This was the kind of day that was perfectly colored and bright; however, in my mind’s eye, I see this as though it were recolored, almost like an old colorized television show, which had been retouched, and the colors became brighter than ever.
I remember the world as it was then, and again, I say it was all less intense. There was less to distract us and less technology to take us away or separate us in different rooms. This was the time before cable television.
This was the time before remote controls even came into play. As a matter of fact, the only remote control in the house was me because to change the channel, one would have to physically turn the knob, and rather than stand up, The Old Man would send me over to turn the knob and change the channel.
Little kids just want to play. I see this now. Little kids will do anything to keep the game going. And all they want is to laugh, to play, and to have a little attention.
Time moves and we often forget the meaning of a simple minute. Time happens to us all and we grow, and we move, and we look back, and then we wonder were all the time went.
Time happens and one day, we realize that we have grown. Time happens and we become adults, we become attached to new ideas and we get carried away with different problems. Time happens and we forget what it means to laugh or play or throw a ball around the yard.
I wish I could see The Old Man just once. Just once, and maybe we could throw a ball around. Maybe I could show him a few things I’ve done. I wish The Old Man could come over and sit on my back porch and we could talk about anything at all.
He could tell me stories. Or I could tell him some.
I wish The Old Man was here just once so I could show him the pond down by my house because I like to think about The Old Man and me, sitting together by the pond, catching sunfish or any fish for that matter, and just spending a little time together.
See, time happens. And there is no turning back. Too often, we leave things unsaid. I don’t want to leave anything unsaid ever again. I don’t want a day to pass where those I love go along without knowing how much they mean to me.
If time is always of the essence, then I need to become a part of the essence and essentially, I need to live every minute to the absolute fullest.
There really is no other choice.
I have other memories of loved ones and people that I care for. I have tiny pictures of them in my mind and in my mind’s eye; I visit them as often as possible. I see them for who they are to me. I can see their smiles and hear their laughter in my thoughts.
Time is truly an amazing thing. Time allows us to heal. It helps us to grow but if we are not careful, too much time can come between us, and if we are really not careful, we might find ourselves facing the feeling that come when we leave something unsaid
And so, before another minute passes, let me just say this now so that you know it and it will never be unsaid (or unwritten)
I love you . . .
and I always will