Sometimes a different view isn’t any better or worse than the current view; it’s just different. Many of the mile posts in my life are memories of first times and last times.
Mile post 25, when I first held my baby girl and looked into her eyes made it clear that I would never see the world as darkly as before.
The first time she smiled, laughed, grabbed my finger and rolled over are etched in my heart and instilled in me a hope about a better world, a happier time, and love that I didn’t know I had inside.
Mile post 30; her first bike had tassels and basket and I taught her how to ride it. She made me promise I wouldn’t let go.
“You have to hold on Dad. Promise?” Of course I ran along side holding her, making sure she was going, balancing, smiling, and watching where she was going. But of course eventually I had to let go; I mean isn’t that the point?
Now three of my kids are married. I feel like it was the first time they rode their bike. I have been running along side for so many years and I always promised them that I would hold on; but eventually I have to let go; I mean isn’t that the point?
I am watching carefully, almost sad to see them going along so fine, balancing, smiling and all I have to do is watch and see where they are going.
Mile post 41; the last time I saw my dad alive, his breathing was shallow and quick and his hands frail. I thought back when I told him the same thing, “You have to hold on.”
But of course, he had to let go. In the end, he was looking into my eyes and seemed to be watching me, to see if I was still going, balancing, smiling, and watching where I was going. He had to let go; I mean isn’t that the point?
As he let go, I wondered if I could keep going on my own; and just like my kids, I am surprised when I saw that he wasn’t holding me up anymore. I keep going, balancing, smiling, and watching. Maybe I learned just enough to wobble my way along. There have been a few crashes, bruises and scraped knees; I imagine there will be a few more.
Mile post 47; the time I taught my son how to drive a car. It was a stick-shift. Clear the road… for that matter clear the sidewalk, here we come.
“Okay, check your mirror, put on your seat belt, look behind you, slowly push on the gas and let out the clutch.” He was more interested in the radio and CD player than with anything else. I was wishing that I was running along side instead of IN the truck, but I was making sure he was going, balancing, smiling, and watching where he was going.
There are experiences you can’t give away; they become the mile posts with which we measure the passage of time. The first time you show your kids how to shoot a gun; mile post 37.
The time your daughter gets her heart broke; mile post 34 and only mom can make it better. I remember my wife fidgeting nervously waiting for some boy to ask our girls to the Junior Prom; mile posts 40 and 44. Best day of my life, March 15, 1980; mile post 21; my too kind and loving wife said yes.
The mile posts are flying by now. We survived losing the state championship football game; it still hurts to think how close it was; mile post 42. I still remember my first car; mile post 16. But I can’t remember all the other cars I have purchased since then. I remember my first marathon; mile post 28, Portland Oregon; the others sort of blur together. I remember teaching Daniel to ride the wake board; mile post 49.
We went to see Nikki’s new apartment; mile post 49. If ever there was an exclamation point to an ending that was it. I had freely given her to someone else to take care of; what is my job now? We went to Katie’s house and she cooked us a meal; the first one. She was so proud and actually seemed to like having us around. She remembers things; it is her way of showing her love. She had cinnamon rolls and Pepsi in the fridge; that is true love.
People I know have died. People I didn’t know have come into my life. The mile posts keep flying by and the road is always curved so I can’t ever tell exactly what is up ahead, but the journey… it is all about the journey… going, balancing, smiling, and watching where you are going, so remember, we make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.