“If only we knew when a magical moment was taking place for the last time”
It wasn’t until I watched my sons from the balcony a few weeks ago that I realized I wouldn’t be watching them tote their little colorful sandbuckets down to the beach ever again. Actually, it has been years since they’d used their buckets. It just hadn’t sunk in until that afternoon.
How often do we experience something in life for the last time? Regrettably, we rarely ever know until we look back and see that a chapter has silently ended and a new one begun without warning. If only there was a flashing neon sign or buzzing alarm that went off whenever a childhood ritual was ending. The neon letters would proclaim “Take note of this experience. Enjoy. It won’t happen again.”
So now, the buckets and shovels have been put up on the shelf and replaced with body boards and the like. There will be no more little boys bringing me buckets of “homemade sand soup” and asking me to help them dig for gold.
I can’t help thinking though, that if that flashing neon sign had lit up the sky the last time they filled their little buckets, I would have paid closer attention...or maybe tempted fate by joining in the fun with them.
Probably more than anything, though, I would have captured in my mind’s eye the look of wonder on my children’s face as they busily filled and dumped their buckets. Instead, I innocently carried the buckets in at the end of the day, fully expecting we would carry it back to the beach again. But we never did.
Time marches on until the little boys who once loved to run down to the beach with buckets and shovels ready, have discovered there is so much more to the ocean than just the sand.
It’s a good thing that we mark milestones like birthdays, graduations, and New Years with celebrations that help us say goodbye to one era and hello to the next. As one hand joyfully unwraps the birthday present, the other one is invisibly waving goodbye to the past.
But what about all the ordinary, day to day experiences that exist without the opportunity for a farewell?
I’m hoping that what they say about death is true: my entire life will flash before me like a movie and I’ll have a final chance to celebrate the simple, beautiful moments that I was blessed to play a part in.
Moments like the sandbucket afternoons that slipped by without my knowing how special they were.
Until then, I think I’ll curl up on my beach chair, put down my magazine and watch my boys jump the waves in the ocean just a little longer.
This was written by a very good friend of ours. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Enjoy the moment while you can for it is written in the Bible in James 4:14 “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes”.