Friday, July 10, 2009

Lifelong friends

Sara's dad, John, had a good friend in school named Dick. They were buddies. Here's what I know about their friendship.

They grew up together. They went to school together. They went to the same church. When John married Margie, and Dick married Frankie, John and Dick built their houses next to each other. They've been next door neighbors for over 50 years. They watched each others families grow in size. They shared in any success and sadness the other one would experience...birthdays, graduations, weddings, funerals. When Dick's wife passed away several years ago, I imagine Dick clung to John's friendship like he never had before just to get through each day. He probably didn't need to cling too tightly, because I'm sure John was there for him and put on a fine display of friendship.

Today is the last thing John & Dick will do together. They will attend the same funeral.

Dick passed away this week from cancer. John is going to the funeral of his lifelong friend. It has to be the strangest thing when your friends start passing away...especially someone you're that close to. I feel sad for John. Sara and her sister went to the funeral. Dick was always so good to their family.

I didn't have much interaction with him. I remember him being a kind, gentle person. And what always impressed me about him is that he always remembered my name. When I saw him at John & Margie's 50th anniversary party, he shook my hand and said, "Hello, Mike." When we would pull into John's driveway to visit her parents, if he happened to be outside, he'd wave and say hello, using our names. "Hello, Sara! Hi, Mike!" he'd say. Just the nicest guy. A good man. He was at our wedding 15 years ago and I've probably exchanged words with him just a handful of times. Yet, he still remembered my name. That, to me, is really something.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Today is July 8th, 2009. The seventh month...the eighth day...and the ninth year of this century.

At 34 minutes and 56 seconds after noon today, it was 12:34:56 PM. The numbers lined up.

For one second in my life, and probably my children's life, time looked like this:

12:34:56 7/8/9.

How would we celebrate that one second? I made a point to come home for lunch to be with them for that precious second that we would all experience just once during our time on earth. (Well, if the kids are blessed with good health and good fortune, I suppose they could live to see the next one).

Amber wanted to bob for apples. That takes too long. What else?

Andrew didn't really have any ideas. We needed to celebrate quickly...something that would only last one second, but yet, be something we would always remember. That's when it hit me.

We weren't on earth the last time this happend. Most likely, none of us will be on earth the next time it happens. So, why not leave earth when it happens this time?

So, at 12:34:56 PM on July 8, 2009, what'd we do?

We jumped. All three of us jumped at the same time. Our feet were off of the earth. We were in the air...elevated in space but captured by time. But, only for one second.

For one second, we celebrated...together as a family. A father with his children, celebrating one second of life, one second of being together, one second of joy and happiness.

Sometimes, life gets busy and steals away moments that could easily be spent with your family. Today was a very busy day for me at work, but I found time over lunch to make a memory for me...for Andrew...for Amber. And it only took one second.

That one second is surrounded by so many other moments and memories, but that one second became a treasure for me. It's one second I will always remember.