We Think We Have Forever

Life as we knew it was different. Childhood memories were just that…memories. When I was learning to ride my bike, building blanket forts in the living room, or ditching the school books for a day and having a picnic at the park, laughter just echoed. I thought time was going to stand still. I thought we had forever. Little did I know, that time was going to fly by at lightening speed.

Pretty soon, my worries and priorities changed. As I entered into my teen years, it was like the memories that had existed just a few short years before had evaporated. Gone were the worries of building blanket forts sturdy enough to withhold a hurricane, or getting scrapes and bruises from trying to ride our bikes in a driveway that was always cracked and full of crumbled asphalt. Now they were replaced with college talk, realizing that boys did indeed, not have cooties, and a love/hate relationship with the girl in the mirror.

Last week, we unfortunately had to put my childhood dog down. It was devastating. I laid next to her on the cool tile of our kitchen floor. Tears flowing, having no desire to wipe the away. I wanted to feel everything, and then wanted to feel nothing.

The memories flooded into my brain and out my mouth before I even knew what was happening. From the moment we picked her out when I was just nine years old, to the moment we had to run her down as she escaped into our neighbor’s yard more times than I can count. She loved her friend over there. When their dog died, she didn’t know what to do with herself. You form a relationship, a bond, whether it is with a human or an animal, that had her paw in your hand since the very beginning. No matter what, forever comes quicker than you imagine. We knew it was time.

Selfishly for me, I wanted to hold on. I wanted to have more time with her. The time we had with her did not seem like long enough, but it was time that I will always cherish just the same. She was smart, loyal, loving, and the best adventure buddy. Having to say good-bye, is the worst part about owning a pet, because when you pick them out as a little puppy, you never imagine that that time is going to come as quickly as it does. She is resting peacefully now, and knowing that she is so much more comfortable, puts my heart at ease.

“Someday the memories of those last days will fade and you’ll think about your dog as he was in happy times, in all his butt-wiggling, people-loving, face-licking, squirrel-chasing, mischief-making glory.”

The reason I tell this story, is because even though our childhoods do not last forever, we are able to live our lives with a new forever. A new future moving forward with the wonderful memories that our childhood consisted of. Our child-like spirit does not have to leave either, even if our age reflects something different. Yes, maturity is called for as you grow older, but what’s the fun in living your adult life with out a few blanket forts and ice cream sundaes sprinkled in.

Life is all about balance. Even though we do not have the forever we imagined as children, it does not mean that the life we live now, has to be dull, boring, or unintentional. Creativity and imagination should not go away. See the galaxies that your cream makes in your coffee, listen to the birds chattering away as the sun crests over the horizon, or revel in the beauty of dew sparkling on the grass on an early, summer morning. Life moves too fast for us to not take pictures of important moments and store them in our brains for us to reminisce on later. Because they might be reality now, but pretty soon, we will just have the amazing, God filled memories to look back on. Each day is a gift.

“This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” ~ Psalm 118:24

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