We flew out last week to spend time with my husband's dad. To hold his hand, hug the family, steal a discreet photo or two while we still can. He looked tired and thinner, but his sense of humor is still strong. Then I saw the photo taken of him a year and thirty pounds ago, holding a bass he caught with his brother on a lazy Florida river. The clock has been busy since that fishing trip.
There’s a ticking timepiece on the sunroom wall, marking passing seconds as carelessly as a dripping faucet. Straight-faced, it callously reminds me that the hourglass is emptying faster than I can comprehend this new reality. How could there be a world without Rob’s dad in it?
On Sunday we went to their little country cathedral where the church family hugged us, searched our faces, and told us not to give up hope. In the evening, the home care nurse arrived, flicking syringes and asking hard questions while her brows knit together. And the clock on the porch marked another half hour.
We spoke sadly of the future on our way to church. But the woman on the back pew told us to “fight, fight, fight!” as we sat down. And the clock on the wall announced another hour while we were away.
There’s a time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted, the Prophet said in Ecclesiastes. At the end of the day, Dad belongs, after all, to the One Who loved him first and planted eternity in his heart.
Some cultures measure the passing of time by the moons. But the clock doesn’t care about celestial timepieces. It runs on perpetual motion, never pausing for broken hearts who need a few more years with a father who can’t be replaced.
The ticking of the clock. Maybe someday I’ll enjoy the sound again. Just not . . . today . . .