Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Deception of Time

   Time. A friend or foe? A word that has many sides. The facets of a jewel that can glimmer with hope or become dull with dread. 
Our pleasant memories can polish the shine. Sitting idol, having regrets, or our denial can often tarnish time, causing our recollection to lose its luster and fade in to the rearview mirror of life. 
Time can bring hope when trying to push through it, fueled with anticipation. Time can also bring destruction if used carelessly. 
Time can be preserved by photography, one of the greatest inventions of all time, freezing images then refreshing them in your mind when you open up that album or grandma's old hatbox. 

My father recently turned eighty years old.  
During his surprise party I began to reflect. My memories catapulted me back. Images of my father and my childhood flashed before my eyes like a movie on fast forward, yet the frames were clear.  
When you're eight, fourteen or even twenty five we can't fathom our parents being eighty years old. They appear as human monuments that are indestructible, forever standing strong for us to lean on. 
During one's youth age and the passing of time seems like some fictitious tale that we can't fully comprehend. We think time will stay still, and wait for us. We believe things will always stay the same. This is why change is so hard for some when evolution forces it upon us. 
I can still see my father on his hands and knees crawling through mountains of snow during the storm of 1977 eagerly helping my brother, sister and I build an igloo. 
I can still see the world tilting through my eyes, feeling weightless as he threw me into the air, catching me and tossing me over his shoulder like a bag of grass seed. 
Through evolving science there are a few ways that we can slow down or control the visual signs of time's progression.  This is where the deception can occur. 
As I mentioned, my father is now eighty years old. I think because he's taken such good care of himself that this might be why it's difficult for me to grasp this. 
My father is in great, physical shape and takes no medication. A retired school teacher, his mind is still sharp and full of knowledge. He still has a passion to educate and lecture to whomever may want to listen. 
These factors make it hard for me to believe that he is now eighty years old. Without the visual cues of age it's as if time has stood still. 
Since losing my husband, Mike in 2012, I now have a new respect for time. 
We never know how much of it we will have. We've been told to use it wisely. We've been told to seize the day. Despite all those 'timeless' quotes, it is easy to become spoiled, thinking we'll always have more of it. 
Time, a man's best friend or his own worst enemy.
 'We have time.' 
'There's no more time!' 
Sound familiar? 
As I watched my father blow out the candles of his eightieth birthday cake I reminisced on my most valuable lesson thus far.  I've learned through life's events, some good, and some bad, to not only look at my desired destination, but to enjoy the journey. Time is motion and it never stops. Father Time is something that demands respect. 

Justine Szot

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