The Big Spoon

Savor: (Verb), to taste and enjoy (typically a food or drink) completely; enjoy and appreciate (typically something pleasant) completely.

It took me years to finally get around to pulling together all of our old family videos. It was 11 years ago with the birth of our first child, Bryson, that I went out like so many new dads to buy a bulky Sony video camera. Over the years, and multiple video formats, I had accumulated 23 mini videocassettes, which were collecting dust in a box in the hall closet. There wasn’t a specific event that was the trigger, but earlier this year I pulled together the tapes and had a local company transfer them in chronological order onto DVDs.

Two weeks ago I picked up the DVDs and we have started watching different snippets of our family history. It’s been a real treat to see how our kids, Bryson (11) and Marie (9), have enjoyed watching their earliest moments. From their first birthdays, early Christmas holidays, beach vacations, etc., they have been amused and delighted by watching themselves as babies and infants. There are numerous hilarious moments, and some that were amusing at the moment and maybe more poignant today.

It also has been amazingly moving to see glimpses of family members no longer with us, or with us in the same way. The earliest video, from Christmas of 1998, contains scratchy images of Jennie’s youngest sister, Carrie, laughing, talking and drinking coffee, just three months before her untimely death in early 1999. There are wonderful images of Jennie’s mother, Jane, dancing with my father-in-law, Don, and affectionately holding her new grandson. Jane is currently struggling with frontal lobe dementia, often in a wheelchair and rarely speaking.

I share all of this because once again I am struck by how much has happened over the past 11 years, and how fast it has all seemed to go. Life is absolutely blowing by and I continue to think, “If I knew then what I know now…” My reflection is not centered on what a share of Google stock would be worth today if purchased years ago. It is centered on what would I have thought or said or done differently if I had known that the Christmas of 1998 would be Carrie’s last. Let’s be reminded by the words of singer, songwriter, and philosopher Warren Zevon:

“Don Quixote had his windmills
Ponce De Leon took his cruise

Took Sinbad, seven voyages
To see that it was all a ruse!”

If we are waiting for some mythical day in the future to enjoy life…once we retire, when we have more time, once the kids are older or (one of my favorites), “when our ship comes in,”… my comment to you is don’t wait!

The lesson that I am trying to remind myself of consistently is that we need to live, enjoy, and appreciate life more fully now! Like a delicious meal or a fine wine, we need to savor life and use “the big spoon,” so that we can enjoy every drop!