Putting these two photographs together was one of those life flashing in front of my eyes moments. Actually, only 29 years of flashing. Nevertheless, it was stunning to see the passage of time from being 32 and now 61 years old.
The photograph at left shows me holding my first daughter, Julie. She was born on April 10th, 1983 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The photograph, taken by the late Ken Akers, came a week later at our home in Mesa. That is my grandson, Jake, born May 1st, 2012 in Topeka, Kansas, at right. Laura took the photograph close to three weeks after Jake’s birth.
Honestly, outside of my own daughters, I am not one to get all weak in the knees over the sight of a baby. I probably had not held a baby since Kelly was young. Holding Jake, though, brought all sorts of wondrous memories of the young lives of Julie and Kelly flooding back. It actually became a very anxious time. Thoughts of the passage of time briefly overwhelmed me. My prayers of thanks to my Savior became prayers of hope for all the time possible with this gift from God.
So, enough with all this philosophical babble. You probably are wondering what is up with the shirt. The old Ralph Lauren shirt was a gift from Julie’s mother on my birthday, the same day Julie was born. The look was very Magnum P.I. at the time. When we moved from Arizona to Kansas, I decided to hang onto the shirt because the photograph with Julie is one of my very favorites. Again, thoughts of the passage of time.
During one of our housing moves, the shirt got stuffed into a box. Years later it resurfaced far too late for me to wear after Kelly’s birth in 1990. Back it went into storage only to be dragged out for Julie’s 18th birthday (a photo we mutually agreed would never be shown) and again now. I dug up an old belt and tucked the shirt to match the old look. Back into storage the shirt now goes until who knows when.
Oh, and there is one other item that dates back in time. The watch on my wrist is now 35 years old. In 1977, my father and I bought nearly identical Rolex watches back when they still were affordable. One year later, my father passed away. I started wearing his watch and have to this day.
Finally, since I have been dwelling on the passage of time, and because I find her timeless, I have included a photograph of Laura with Jake. Just another reason, dear Lord, why I pray you will be merciful and grant me many more years to enjoy life with Laura, my daughters and now Jake. The truth is, the passage of time has been a joy ride.