This morning my shoulders were in pain, another sign that my twenties are officially gone. As I expressed to my wife this reality, I noticed that she was stretching her back right before getting out of bed, another sign that her twenties are also, over. As we finally awoke from the depressing reality that our “glory days” as athletes are over and carried on with the day’s routine, the thoughts of time that can’t never be recovered inundated my mind.
On my way to Ahoskie, buying some groceries with my son Angelo; equipped with a few coupons and a reward card that ended up saving this family $41.00, I started realizing that in less than a year my dear son Angelo will be gone to college. I started thinking about the fact that for the last twenty years since I left Puerto Rico, for the most part, I have been able to see my parents a few times a year. No longer do I see them every day! Whatever time we did not spend is gone and it can never be recovered.
I look at our kids and how eager they are to listen to music while we are in the car; how they would put the headsets on or engage in massive texting rather than to talk to one another. Obviously, they have not realized that our time together will soon be gone. Whatever conversations we do not have; whatever quality time we do not spend, will indeed be over soon.
I am realizing more and more than in life there are two things that are highly important; the time we spend with our Lord Jesus and the time we spend with our family. At the moment of our departure from this earth nothing else will be important.
I remember some years ago, as I was being ordained as a minister in Jacksonville, Florida, my dad and mom came to the ceremony. They traveled all the way from New Jersey to share that moment with me. As the ceremony ended, my dad came to me sobbing. At first, I did not know what was going on; I had never seen my dad crying! As he was able to speak more clearly he told me: “Son I am so sorry for not being there in your baseball games, when you ran track, when you sang…” as he continue expressing himself he started sobbing again. I told him, “Dad, I forgive you. You did the best you could. I never went hungry, never lacked clothing or shelter. I am a dad now and I am doing the best I can. I want you to help me build a little play house for my kids.”
He had about a week before he was supposed to return to New Jersey. We worked in that house long hours as dad took the time to teach me what to do. Even after he was gone I would call him to ask him questions about how to continue the project. Shortly after finishing the house, the Lord called me to be a pastor in Winton, North Carolina. My kids never really enjoyed the little house. I realized that house was not for my kids, but for my dad and me. I am so glad that we had that time!
I only have a few months before my oldest son goes on to go to college. Soon, the daily time that we will have with each other will be no more as is it now; the same will happened with all my children. What is even worst, death can visit any one of us at any time, as it did my first wife. Today, I am married to a beautiful wife and I am enjoying a real home with wonderful kids. I thank the Lord because, in spite of me, He gave me a second chance to enjoy the awesomeness of a whole family.
As a society we must find ways to save money and provide for our families. We engage in a million things that we consider “important,” but we must save time and energy in order to spend quality time with our loved ones. At the end of the day, that is what matters. It is the time that will never be recovered. When the last scene of our lives take place, will we be happy and full with deep, meaningful memories; or will we be full of regret for the things we could have said and done and never did?