Yesterday I relived 45 years on grandfather’s clock, the one he built in 1972. Let me explain.
Yesterday we all got together to celebrate my son’s 30th birthday. I lost count but there were over twenty five of us there for the celebration and we had a great time. It seemed like there were grandchildren everywhere , about a dozen give or take.
For one of his gifts my wife gave our son a photo album that started when he was born and chronicled his early years. It included many photos of my dad, the one who built the grandfather’s clock that I’m going to tell you about in a minute.
But first, how did 30 years go by in the wink of an eye. I remember as if it were yesterday the day Bill was born. In fact, the night before, his older sister and brother wanted to camp out in the back yard. We were living in Ft. Valley at the time, the weather was mild and it was a festive atmosphere with my wife’s parents staying with us in anticipation of their new grandson being born. So I said “OK” to their camping request; they were 9 and 7 years old at the time.
We rushed off to the hospital first thing in the morning and in a few hours their grandparents brought them up to see their new brother. Now he’s a husband, father of three and a successful businessman. I relived a lot of it yesterday as I paged through that photo album we gave Bill. Wow, there was a lot of life packed into those pages!
The secondary event of the day (secondary only because we had the major celebration last week) was saying goodbye to my third son, Jess, as he heads off to the University of Tel Aviv in Israel to work on a Master’s Degree for the next year. I gave him his last hug as we walked out the door and I began to miss him already as we drove home.
But what put this all into perspective was the fact that we brought home to the farm the grandfather’s clock that my dad built back in the summer of 1972. We’ve had it since my mom died in 2000 but it was at another son’s home. He moved last week and doesn’t have a suitable place for the clock in his new home. Hence, we brought it to the farmhouse where my wife allocated the perfect spot for it.
My son, Max, helped me carry it in and get it setup. You can see the photo at http://www.facebook.com/VisitingAngelsofCentralGA/. In the bottom of the clock he found all the papers related to it: the purchase receipt, the instructions on how to assemble it (It was a kit from Emperor Clock Co), the warranty, how to order spare parts, etc. Max never met my dad so this was a peek into the grandfather he never knew and it was quite a revelation for him and a bit emotional. We adopted Max from a Siberian orphanage when he was just barely 10. He never knew his parents, let alone his grandparents so any connection to a family history for him, even if it is adopted, is special. Max plans to restore the clock; I can’t wait to hear it chime again!
After we got done setting up “Grandfather’s Clock” we sat down for a coffee and I tried to explain to Max that the clock just recorded the passing of an era with Jess heading over to Israel. Max and Jess are closer than blood brothers and have been living together with us at the farm for the past couple years. When he comes back I’m sure Jess will pursue the next chapter of his life and it won’t be back here at the farm; an era has passed. It’s hard to see these eras as you’re living them. They seem to be more visible in the rearview mirror.
So, the moral to this story is this:”Live life LARGE” in the present because grandfather’s clock doesn’t stand still for any of us.
Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!
Bill Milby, CSA, is a Certified Senior Advisor and a Director of Visiting Angels® of Macon, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org