Our lives are composed of moments. The moments eventually meld into memories. In my later years, I have learned to absorb the special moments when I feel them upon me. I feel I lost many moments in my younger days because I was too focused on what's up ahead. There are memories my family will bring up but I don't remember the special moments they do, simply because I was focused somewhere else. I have awakened to the light that moments make memories and as that revelation dawned on me a few years ago, I now try to absorb the essence of special moments.
Yesterday was an example. I take my dad to his doctor appointments every three months. My dad turned 80 a week ago. He's not in the best health but he keeps pushing along, some days are harder for him than others. But he's always been a warrior in my eyes. As much as I dread taking him to the doctor, I also relish the time spent with him. He is still so funny sometimes, making me laugh with comments about this or that. He and I have always had a special bond. I was an only child and definitely, "Daddy's girl". My dad has been my hero.
I dread these appointments because I fear what the doctor may say. Even though I realize Dad is 80, and battling COPD, the thought of losing him is what I fear the most. I don't know how I will react. No one knows this until you go through it. So, I've decided to make these couple of hours we spend together simple joys, just by remembering simple things that happened. One appointment day, there was a woman in the doctor's office who'd been brought in by a squad. She was in a bed with IV and oxygen. My dad started walking over to her. I thought for a moment he had lost his way, but he simply walked over to the woman, leaned down and said "Hang in there!". She smiled and told him "Thanks, I'm trying." That moment, could have been a special touch for that woman. Could have lifted her spirits when she needed it most. I was proud of my dad, but then I've always been proud of him. A moment I know I will always remember.
Yesterday evening, #1 Son came home for a visit. His new wife is traveling with her job through the week. He's taking graduate classes, but right now, early in the quarter, he gets a little lonely. Even Reese Cup, their 4 month old kitten, isn't enough to keep him company completely. #1 Son lives about an hour away so it's not a really long drive, not too much gas to buy on their tight budget, so he says. I think he just wanted our company for the evening.
We have a little patio area at the back of our house, faces up into the wooded hillside. This time of year, Hubby will often build a fire. Towards dark, Hubby collected firewood from the hillside. He and #2 Son started a fire in the little homemade fireplace which we call the Tiki God. Hubby made this fireplace from an old water tank. He fashioned eyes, nose, mouth, welded on metal earrings and it has a crown for it's head where flames can shoot out. He was feeling very artistic when he built it a few years ago. His favorite thing to do is build a fire on chilly evenings and just enjoy an hour or two sitting by it, listening to the crackle, trying to ignore the neighbor dogs barking incessantly at times, and we often talk. This evening, was even more special because the four of us were reunited.
Hubby and I moved the bench back a little and brought down two Adirondack chairs, placing them all in a semi-circle in front of the fire. #2 Son got his banjo out. He's been teaching himself to play this summer, while also job searching. He's pretty good at the banjo. Not having so much luck at the job hunt yet. He's a history major, so that says volumes. But, as we tell him, if that's what you want to do, keep at it, something will come your way. The mood was quiet. The banjo music keeping us entertained. We also talked about things, the four of us. Nothing important. We joked remembering some past memories. #1 Son talked about his classes and other things going on in his life since going out on his own as a married man. I sat there listening to the talk and I thought to myself, this is one of those special moments. So simple yet so significant. A good moment to keep close to my heart.
As a young adult I think I spent too many years worrying about things that might happen and I lost alot of good moments. I try not to do that anymore. Habits are hard to break, I do relapse into old ways of thinking. But I try to focus on the here and now so that later, I'll have memories of the special moments because those are what really make a life.