a nonspatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future

– Merriam-Webster

T-I-M-E:  Such a simple word.  Just four little letters, that’s all.  Sometimes I feel like it truly is a “four-letter-word.”  I can remember being young and thinking, “Oh, I can’t wait to turn 13.  Then I’ll be a teenager and can do more things.”  “When I turn 16, I’m gonna have a cool car and can drive all my friends around.”  And then, “I can’t wait to turn 18, so I can get out of this town.”  And finally, “I’ll really be considered an adult when I turn 21.”  Always rushing, always looking forward to the next milestone.  Rarely living in the moment.  We try to hurry time up, thinking that when “our time” is finally here, then we’ll really be happy.  When I lose weight, when we buy our next home, when we have more money saved – still rushing, always waiting until the right time.

Then there’s those moments, just glimmers in our memories – the second I realized I’d just met the man I would marry; that first kiss as a married couple; staring into the eyes of first, one, then two, and now three beautiful souls that are pieces of my heart.

Once our children were born, I began to realize how fast time passes.  I would catch myself regretting lost hours and minutes during the week.  “I don’t remember time flying like this before,” I found myself thinking.   There’s something that changes in us when we realize how precious each day is.

Suddenly, there are moments that stop you in your tracks.  I have had a few too many of these moments since April 9 of this year.  “Your Granny is dying.”  “Uncle Bryson passed.”  And just tonight, “Bear died.”

Bear – the nickname given to my cousin Travis so many years ago.  It never stuck with me although everyone else in the family called him that.  I call him Travis.  So when my sister called and uttered those words, “Bear died” it didn’t hit me at first.  Then she said, “Bear — Travis.  Died.”  I was speechless.  It couldn’t be.  Travis?  MY Travis?

He was always my favorite.  We were kindred spirits, Travis and me.  I was a tomboy and he refused to treat me like a girl.  I respected him for that. He played baseball for many years and when he would bring friends to visit at Granny’s, he’d say, “I told him we’d play ball out in the field and I bet you can out run him.”  Oh, he always knew the right things to say.  I looked up to him.

Another memory that is stuck in my head is that we used to play this game called STAR for hours.  Our grandparents had two concrete walkways stretching out from the side of the house, one from the front porch and one from the back.  The rules were simple enough.  Each of us would stand on opposite sidewalks and one person would say, “I’m thinking of something…(blue, tall, on wheels – whatever)” and the other person would guess.  Once they got the right answer the first person would yell “Star!” and we’d race pass each other and yell “Star!” once again as we reached the other sidewalk.  We’d laugh (and sometimes mumble that the other had somehow cheated) and when the game got boring, we’d start trying to trip each other as we ran pass.  Trust me, I have a scar on my knee that will always remind me of him.

As we got older, our paths didn’t cross as much as I would have liked.  School, jobs, marriage, babies, and moving – all the typical excuses that, at this moment, seem so ridiculous.  How can we use these things as excuses?  Why wouldn’t we involve the people we love in all these moments in our life?

My heart is broken.  I lay here with tears covering the paper, thankful to have my husband’s warm body lying next to me for comfort.  Travis was young – just mid-30s – with a wife and two beautiful little boys.  I do not yet know all the details and when I do, I will not likely share them on here.  I only know that it was sudden and his wife, mother, and two boys were on a flight coming to see him when it happened.  His brother and step-father were with him.  I can’t imagine the strength his family is going to need to get through these next days and weeks and months.  I can only offer them my love and prayers.  In my own mind I’m screaming, “WHY him?  WHY now?”  Even though I know as a Christian that God has a plan, I just don’t understand.

I love you, Travis.  You’ll be able to keep Granny company now.  I will always remember you as my best buddy with those sparkling eyes full of mischief in those days when time passed so slowly.



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