Sunday, June 20, 2010

Remember the Times

As I sit here in Stafford, Virginia getting ready to leave my parent's house on Father's Day, I am reminded of how strong memories are. Since I've been back to my parent's house for vacation, I have been able to reflect upon a lifetime of memories as I spent time with my brother, my parents and my grandparents. The memories started when we visited Luray Caverns on Thursday. As we headed down to Luray Caverns I was reminded of the first time I went there with my parents over 20 years ago. We talked about that first time going there and how special it was. Now, over 20 years later we were entering the building that led us to the caverns. I got a chance to talk to my mom and my dad as we walked through the caverns. I got the chance to see my wife's face as she was in complete awe of the caverns. I had my family there and we shared in the majesty of one of the more secret wonders of the world.

We traveled from Luray Caverns to my alma mater James Madison University. We drove through campus and I gave everyone a play by play tour of my greatest memories when I was there as a student. We then went and ate dinner at my favorite Japanese Steakhouse in town, Kyoto. While we were only in Harrisonburg, VA for an hour it was nostalgic and special.

The next day my brother came to my parent's house from Maryland and we headed to the movie theaters to watch Karate Kid in a VIP movie theater section where they served beer, wine, etc. It was so nice and fun. Movies were a big part of my childhood. I remember getting to the movies an hour early with my Dad and sitting and talking with him. That was our time as father and son to catch up on life. I loved it. When we got back to the house, my brother and I ended up throwing the baseball and football around in the yard, which channeled our former life as athletes in high school and college. As we threw the ball back and forth we just talked and remembered about those years striving to be the best athletes possible. It was a great time spent doing what we love.

On Saturday, my grandparents came up from Petersburg, VA and I was immediately reminded how my grandparents have always been there for me my whole life. Graduations, birthdays, etc. They have been a constant for me and my brother. We ate at a place called Firebirds for a father's day dinner and my wife and I were able to announce to everyone that we were accepted into the Catholic Charities Adoption program. Everyone was so happy and excited as hopefully next Father's Day I will be a dad to a beautiful newborn child whose life will be changed forever with Shel and I entering into this program. Somewhere out there right now is a child developing in the womb of a birthparent who will become our son or daughter. That is a powerful thought! As we wrapped up Dinner it was nice to relax on the drive home and reminisce about the past.

When we got back to my parent's house we headed outside again and my Dad, my brother and my wife all spent time throwing the baseball and football around. With my wife out there she entered into the Parker tradition of sports and life. I taught Shel how to catch a baseball and football and she was so happy. It was a warm and kind time out in the night sky of Virginia. As we headed into the house my brother and I sat in the library in my parent's house and we talked for four hours about life, music, love and our futures. We have epic talks when we get back together and this one was no different. I learn so much about my brother and I believe he learns a lot about me during these talks. At 4:30am in the morning we retired for the evening.

We got up in the morning and took some pictures with the whole family and it was at that moment that my life flashed back to so many of the wonderful times I had growing up. Now, while we had our challenges growing up, it was overwhelmingly a wonderful and beautiful time. It was also at that moment that I realized that life is so short.

The passage of time is amazing. We've all gotten older and we all live in different states. When we get together it is a magical moment because we don't know when it will happen again. One thing that is for sure is that time will march on and we will one day all fade into the twilight of our lives and eventually pass on. When I think about that it gives me shivers and I begin to feel tears forming in my eyes. I love the people in my life and I celebrate their place in my life. However, I also know that nothing lasts forever on this earth so I love the time that I have with those people who are special to me in my life.

And that is why I reminisce and remember about the times that we have had and look forward to times we will have. Life can be fleeting...it could be gone tomorrow so that is why my wife and I travel as much as we can. It is why we love as much as we can and help others as much as we can because really...what is your life about if you have not given to it fully and joyfully?
Remember your blessings, remember your triumphs, remember and learn from your failures and remember to live your life like it will be gone because in the end....it will be one day.

Thank you to every one for reading this and sharing in my memories of my family on Father's Day. May you all be blessed.

Until the next time...

Dr. D
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