As I sat inside the Progress Energy Performing Arts Center last Sunday waiting for my oldest daughters' high school graduation ceremony to begin, my mind started to wander across the past 18 years. The day she was born was second only to the day I married her Mom, and yes, I admit, I cried at the tiny miracle of life I held in my hands.
As she grew older there were, as with every child, great times and not so great times ... and then there were times when my wife and I asked ourselves ... "Whose idea was it to have children again"? Then 18 years later ... there I sat, with tears in my eyes once again as they called her name and she walked across the stage to receive her diploma.
After the post graduation celebrations and when things finally calmed down I went into the attic, walked over to the box where we keep mementoes from each of our children's childhoods, and I opened the lid to my oldest daughters box. The last time this box was opened was on her 16th birthday, where we took out a few treasures to use as props for her party.
This time I was there to look for a particular item .... After a few moments of rummaging through the box I found what I was looking for ...a journal my daughter kept when she was young. As I thumbed through the book and read some of the things she had written and laughed at the pictures she had drawn, I came across a particular entry which drew my attention ...
The date was August 18 2001 , This period of time was particularly memorable for me because it was just after my daughter had returned home from a 10 day stay at Duke Hospital for a serious life threatening illness. My wife and I had spent the entire 10 days at her side while she endured numerous tests, probes, and needle sticks ...pretty traumatic stuff for an 8 year old... (and for her parents as well).
On this date in her journal my daughter had written... "Daddy stayed home from work today and he took me out for chocolate ice cream. Best day ever!"
My heart dropped as I read this line I suddenly remembered the day 10 years ago as if it was yesterday ... Including her stay in the hospital, she was out of school for over a month ... so my wife and I took turns staying home with her ...(well mostly her Mom and I was just the "sub") ...As the pages blurred from the tears streaming down my face I remembered about how I was thinking the day was a total waste and how I got zero work accomplished for the entire day ...my perception then. But in my 8 year old daughters eyes, the simple gift of time and a cone of chocolate ice cream created the perception as her "best day ever"!
TIME is valuable ...Oftentimes more valuable than all your riches combined.
Time is also a vanishing commodity, once passed you will never get it back...
Spend your time like money ...WISELY!
Love can often be spelled T-I-M-E ... An hour playing ball with a child, a visit to an elderly parent ...or a pop-by visit to a past client or friend can show how much you care. Show your family, friends, and your clients how much you care by giving your undivided attention while with them.
I can never bring back August 18, 2001 ...except in my memories ...How many other "wasted" days did I perceive lost, which could have been remembered as my "Best Day Ever"?
Eddie Brown ©2011