This picture of you and Claire, ages 3 and 5, shows you sitting in a booth at Arby’s waiting patiently for dad to bring you Sunday lunch. I do remember you wanted more “ham in your hamburger” that day.
I wish I could remember more of our ordinary times as you two grew: what we talked about, how you sounded, and how you looked when you slept that night.
I wish I had not been in a hurry to get to the next things: dinner, bath, book, bed.
Like Anna Quindlen so aptly said, “I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.”
This one of you and Claire, ages 8 and 10, shows you two standing on the rubble in the aftermath of a Moscow coup smiling blissfully as machine-gun toting Russian soldiers warily watch me take your picture. Unlikely tourist shot for sure.
I wish now I could remember more about our extraordinary Russian times: the smells, the sights, the tastes, the people. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
I treasure many such precious, breathtaking, historic or not-so-historic moments captured only in photographs of my mind at age sixty-six and as I review them I wax nostalgic and pensive, almost incredulous at the wrinkles on my face and in denial of the steady slow aging of this frail body, keenly aware of the need to preserve these memories whether mundane or extraordinary for posterity.
As the hourglass days of my life flow quickly by I see clearly in hindsight extraordinary values in the ebb and flow of these everyday events in the grand scheme of things as they flash before my eyes. I hope to share a few of them with you.
For I now know that you, my dear son, who just yesterday were a babe in my arms, will very shortly hold your own precious child.
We both would do well to heed the advise of this ancient Sanskrit poem.
Look To This Day
Look to this day
for it is life
the very breath of life.
In its brief course lie all
the realities and truths of existence
the joy of growth
the splendor of action
the glory of power.
For yesterday is but a memory
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But today well lived
makes every yesterday a memory of happiness
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
‘Treasure’ quote from Quindlen, Anna. Loud and Clear. New York: Random House, 2004. Print.
“Look To This Day by Kalidasa.” Famous Poems. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2015. http://allpoetry.com/Look-To-This-Day
Image courtesy of: http://www.movdata.net/sunrise.html