Change is inevitable, time is always lost, and death is weird.

IMG_1902-2This used to be our playground. This used to be the calm place to go and watch my kids enjoy their summer days.  What you can’t see in this picture is the movie film playing in my mind. I close my eyes and my children are 3 & 5 again. They are giggling, running, laughing and with an occasional fall, crying. I spent summers at this park watching my children grow. I spent countless hours pushing them on the swings and riding their scooters around the pond. All of that time is now gone but the movie in my mind still plays.

I’ve avoided this park for nearly 9 years and parts of it seem frozen in time. However, there are noticeable changes. The playground is now abandoned and the equipment is gone. What was once a jungle gym, swings, and a slide is now covered in clovers and dandelions. I used to think that life moved at a glacial pace and I was simply following along. Now I realize just how quickly life is passing and I want to hold tightly with both hands and not let any of these moments go. Tomorrow another dawn will come and bring a new day. I’ll want to cling to that day too, but it will end just as quickly as it began.

It’s been almost 9 years since my father died. His death caused a ripple in my life that changed me to my very core. For 9 years I’ve avoided this park because the memories were too painful. All of the memories I have here are attached to him. We would go to mom and dads house and the girls would ask “Grampy, can we go to the dark park?” He would oblige and spoil them with root bear and ice cream on the way back from the park. All of those memories seemed to be lost in a foggy haze until I drove down this familiar lane. He’s gone and their lives are so much older now. Their memories of him are dim at best which breaks my heart. It won’t be long until they will be busy with their lives, and all of the time I’ve spent with them will be a memory. They will move onto the next phase of their lives and so will I.

I used to laugh at my mom when she would listen to “Time in a bottle” but the lyrics ring true.
If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day till eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you
If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty, except for the memory of how
They were answered by you
Her “time is a bottle” is my playground. It’s lost in time.
As I sit here listening to the sounds of summer I’m reminded of how quickly time passes. Although the playground is gone, I’ll always have those amazing memories to hold to. I can sit here in this abandon place, close my eyes and hear my dad laugh, if I think hard enough I can hear my kids with their tiny voices begging for my dad to push them. Clinging to the memories of the time we once spent at this park has reminded me of the love I’ve forgotten because I was too afraid of the pain associated with the loss. Now I mourn for those years that I lost because it was too agonizing to remember his laugh, for remembering his laugh would make me cry. My heart has been healed but it’s in gnarly twisted shape that can only come from such a devastating loss.  
Change is inevitable, time is always lost, and death is weird. But it’s what we learn while running though this life that makes us who we are. Looking back at my life I’m able to see how I was shaped by small moments spent in this park where I was able to run, laugh, play, dream, and think.

2 thoughts on “Change is inevitable, time is always lost, and death is weird.

  1. Priscilla

    I want to cry, but I\\’m sitting across the kitchen table with Brad, and then he would ask what is wrong. Ha! I just don\\’t want to answer the question…but thank you for writing this. I have those places too – sometimes, I drive past the house I grew up in, and listen extra hard for my Dad. If I go to FMCC, although I have some crazy memories, my good memories of my Dad always outweigh the bad. And whenever I hear a hymn? Waterworks. It always hurts…that deep hurt. But I know that the pain in remembering is far easier than the pain of forgetting. I love you, Carrie. DDC for life.

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