That was the first song Old Man Soward taught me on the Piano probably 40 years ago. Every time I hear a grandfather clock chime, I am transported back into that little room, in that little music shop, on old Medina Square.
To pass the time these days, I watch a lot of documentaries. There are countless varieties of documentaries but ones that really fascinate me are the ones about the concept of Time. Time is such a weird thing, it only flows forward, and you cannot turn it back, yet we live in the past because we can never actually see, hear, feel or exist in the exact present. It takes time to turn stimuli into impression.
Anyway, the picture above is a shelf in my house that has the nick-knacks of life that parents collect over the years, stones from the river of time. Photographs and Memories, father’s day cards, things like that. And right in the middle, I put a clock, an old-fashioned alarm clock that I have to remember to wind every day. And it is there for a reason, not decoration.
Look, I know my kids don’t look or even act like the kids in those photos. The girls are now 16 and 20, and Zack, of course is dead. But I look at that clock, right in the middle of the photos and think to myself, I don’t care how many times that minute hand circles round. I don’t care how many hours, or days, or years or decades pass because the passage of time does not change one unalterable fact of my life. They will always be my babies.
We remember our cats as kittens and dogs as pups. We remember our grandparents as great cooks and fun to play with, our parents as vital and filled with life. And we remember our kids, holding our hands, asking to be held, asking to play and wanting to jump up, again.
It’s been one year to the day since two entitled thugs decided they wanted Zack’s computer and shot him for the taking. The hands on that clock have made their round trip 8,760 times since then. Yet still, when I think of him, I feel his five year old hand clutching mine as we walked through the woods, I hear him pushing Legos about his room as he searched, endlessly, for the exact right piece, and hear his voice: Dad, you wanna go outside and shoot baskets? Dad, how’s it going?
Hear the bells chime, they count down time, you’ll always be, this age to me, One, Two, Three . . .
You parents with young children, take a good look at them. Ten years from now, they will have changed, everywhere, to the rest of the world, except to you.
The passage of time will not change that.
Death will not change that.
Zack, my baby boy, love to you always.