Friday, January 16, 2009

Time? What is your "time"?

Almost 5 months ado to the day, 8-15-08 to be exact, I was escorted to a waiting plane at the local airport. I didn't get to take a limo, or even a taxicab. I was loaded into the back of an ambulance with my 4 year old son that was strapped to a bed. The flight wasn't planned so that we could enjoy a family vacation or even go and see some long lost relatives. It was an impromptu journey into the world of the unknown.
What I mean by that is, it brought us to a place that we were not familiar with physically, and a place where time seemed to stand still. You see, my son was entering the beginning stages of a month long battle with HUS, a disease brought on by E. Coli.
The place was Children's Hospital in downtown Minneapolis. A place that I would hope most people never need to visit, but if that need arises the best place in the world to be. It was a place where children came to fight for their health and the people that surrounded them were the best in their profession.
The time was...well, you already know the date but I want to be more specific than that. The time was a time that will, and has, changed the lives of many people. It was a time in our lives, my immediate family, that clocks seemed to move slowly or not at all. The days passed by at an overwhelmingly slow pace. Each day felt like the one before and at times the saying, "each day is better than the next" seemed to be very true.
It was a time in our lives that didn't need to be spent away from home, especially hundreds of miles. This was supposed to be a healing time for my wife, who 8 days prior underwent a bilateral mastectomy to help ease the anxiety and fears of breast cancer. We were supposed to be helping her, allowing her the time to relax and recover from a major surgery.
It was a time when were to be enjoying our last days summer and preparing for a busy year at school. Our four year old would be preparing to enter preschool and playing outside with his friends. Likewise, our five month old was supposed to be spending quality time with us as we would soon get him ready and comfortable with daycare and being away from his home.
Instead of all these well made plans coming to fruition, the clock stopped and uprooted all of our "reality".
You see, five months ago, I sat in a hospital room far from my home and security. I wasn't thinking about getting my classroom ready for school. Or mowing the lawn or even making sure the garage door was closed when I pulled out of the driveway. My wife was not thinking about relaxing, laying in a bed to heal and being catered to so that she could get back to life. Daycare was not even being considered, and preschool was something that would have to wait for another day.
As I sat in that hospital room, watching my oldest son fight for his life, I realized some things. Actually many things, but for now I will share this.
My time is not mine. Clocks, calendars and schedules do not care who I am or what I do. All of these were what I would have defined "time" as five months ago. I do not control the next minute in the day and I do not have a say in where I will be tomorrow or next month. On August 8, I enjoyed a petting zoo with my son and had the best laid plans set out in front of me. Seven days later, I was reminded, NO make that slapped in the face with the reality, not to get comfortable with my time.
My time still consists of clocks, calendars and schedules, because it has to.
However, my "new time" is much different than that. Now, I would define "time" with many different words. I am a husband that devotes my time to growing with my wife and experiencing life with her. I am a father that tries to set a good example and guide two young boys along the path to manhood. I am a teacher who attempts to mold young minds into caring people and lifelong learners. I am a son, brother and friend that strives to be the best that I can be. And finally, but not necessarily last, I am a Christian man that has found out one major thing. I do not control the "time" that is given to me but I trust that the time will allow me a few things.
To be the dad my boys need, the husband my wife desires and the brother, son and friend people in my life want to be around. If I can accomplish all of these things in my "time" here I will be able to spread my faith and love to those that I come in contact with.
So what is "time" to you? Is it a clock, a calendar or a certain schedule you adhere to? Or is it more? What does your "time" mean to you? Do you have to follow it exactly, or does it fly by and take you places that you never even dreamed possible?
I know what my time is!

1 comment:

  1. you nailed it! right on! keep inspiring me...please! Love you!