How softly the years go by. Like a swish of air skidding past my face. A few deep breaths and time tumbled by. Oh, where did it go?
Birth to kindergarten. First through eighth grade. High school. College. Careers.
Memories and life. Milestones made steps. Steps turned into stairways leading far from the safety of home. But always in our hearts. Still in our hearts.
Daniel's smile could dazzle us. Our firstborn would stand in the kitchen, while I made dinner, chatting a mile a minute about basketball stats and school happenings. He was so creative, could draw, imagine other worlds, loved to read. He had, has, a tender heart, and like his dad, tears could easily rush to his hazel eyes. Basketball was his great love, and when the three brothers and Dad got together, it was like they spoke a different language all their own.
But time flew by.
And as each child left the nest and moved on to capture his or her own day in the sun, a part of Mom's and Dad's hearts floated away with them. We watched. Observed. Prayed. Hoped for the very best.
It's their lives stepping up to the plate now, starting new families, just like we did when we were young. Sometimes Jason and I talk about how we were once our parents' "widdo kids", and we grew up, married, moved away. We didn't call as often as they wished we would. But they stood back and patiently watched the beauty of our family grow and change and become.
That's what we're doing now.
One by one, our kids left home to follow their own call, their own road, where life and God would lead them.
Today, Dan carries a chunk of family, of Mom and Dad, in his heart and life. Dad's looks, Mom's humor, Grandma's determination, Grandpa's work ethic. This blend of family, as far removed as we might get, is glue sticking us together, through good times and bad. We'll always be there for each other, even if we're a bazillion miles away.
In two days, something wonderful is about to happen to my family, thus today's sentimental blog. On August 9th, Jason's and my 39th anniversary, Dan is going to marry the love of his life, Traci, and the two of them will make a new life together. A family. She brings pieces of her family's past, their blends, their hearts, their traditions, their hopes and dreams, to join with the hearts and pasts and blends and dreams Dan brings. Together, they'll become a new heart, beating as one.
Life changing. Going forward. Building a new stairway.
Perhaps, our hearts are kind of like the bread Jesus broke and passed around in that amazing miracle. We share ourselves, our love, our lives, with our children, and they go out and share their hearts, their lives, with others. Someday, their children will do the same thing. Each one changing, growing, becoming new.
Life is a journey to celebrate, to love, to relish, to delight in, to live. But watch closely. In the time it takes to snap that picture or store the memory safely in your heart, time will pass. As quick as a brush of air on your cheek.