I was my parents fourth attempt at having a second child. I don't think I would have been the last, had cancer not claimed my mothers ability to have children. Had I known that I would only get 29 years with my mom, I would have made the most of that time. My mom died when I was just 29 years old. Mom missed the first grand child that my wife and I could have given her by 37 days. There is never a day that I wake up and I don't think of her. Mom is always in my thoughts and my vision as I can't help but to see some type of resemblance to her when looking in the mirror staring back at me. In fact, I would say her memory is all around me in one way or the other. In two days mom will enjoy her tenth year in heaven, but to mom the day in heaven is just getting started.
I was raised in a simpler time where family time was more of a priority and easier to come by as compared to what seems like these days is a scheduled time in the weekly agenda. Electronics were not a priority as the average house hold in those days, had a phone, television, and if you were lucky some new newfangled game console called Atari. At the most there were maybe two TV's and that was considered some type of status back in the early 80's.
As a kid my imagination had to take hold and allow me to do things that today is possible with a trip to the store or some type of app download on our smart phones and/or tablets. Riding bikes, a pick up game of a sport, or using your imagination with you friends and playing a simple game of hide and go seek, cops and robbers, was a way to pass the time during the summer or on the weekends when school was not in session. My all time favorite was sending Hot Wheels down a long winding track against your opponent. Going to church was something you did three times a week. Twice on Sunday and once on a Wednesday night.
Holidays were spent with family with plenty of food and presents if it were Christmas or a birthday. Birthday parties then might be considered boring as compared to the parties for kids that happen these days. For me it was having the friends and family over and getting to spend time with them. Another activity that I loved with my family was camping. Our family went on trips at very least three times a year. We fished, went to the beach and bike rides were always plentiful. We always ended the night with a campfire enjoying each others company. I could go on and on, but oh how I long to have those days back. It seems as I have gotten older, those priorities are a thing of the past. I would do anything to have that time back and relive it over and over again.
At 23 I married my wife and for seven years we were two crazy kids living our lives at will. Then we started our family through the miracle of adoption and birth. All three of our kids have three great stories and you can see how God was in the mix of them all. Frequently my wife and I talk about how busy life has become and that we really don't recall life being this busy when we were kids. Time seems to fly and we are amazed at how grown our kids have become. We still hold onto those values and we do things to make sure that family time is not a "scheduled" weekly time in our house. We do our best to make sure it is daily. Granted there are busy weeks which we will refer to as seasons. But we are determined not to move from one busy season to the next one. Down time is a must to be able to focus on being a family and giving our kids the memories we had when we were growing up.
I say all of that to say this. While some families may have it right, I don't believe we all do. I encourage you to make family a priority if it is not. I miss those days. I miss the big family gatherings that my family used to have. So many other things these days have taken the attention off of family and focused it on being busy. I would do anything to relive those 29 years with my mom. But I have lots of memories of her in my heart that will live on through my family. My kids never knew her, but they know her through me. My prayer is one day that our kids will share the childhood stories with their kids and that they will take the time much like we do now, to be a family. I can proudly say that our kids ask for family time whether it is a meal around the table or doing an activity together of some sort. Time flies and I don't want it to slip away without using it wisely.