She asked, Where did the time go? So I took her to the prettiest house on the block. I opened the door and I told her to go before me. We found time in the small living room with worn blue recliners and an ugly brown couch. We saw time in the conversations that could only be heard in memories.
We saw time sitting in the six chairs that surrounded the dining table. We saw time in a marriage that was faithful and sure. We saw time in a Christmas tree that was put up and taken down so many years that we still can’t remember every Christmas holiday lived. We just know they all happened.
She asked, Where did the time go? So I took her down the hallway where there were childhood dreams and a bedroom both covered in tears and laughter. I took her to the bathroom where time became hard-working responsibility. I took her to the closets, the desks, the drawers, the coffee table, the kitchen, the laundry room, and every little corner had time stuffed in between. Time that couldn’t be touched, but somehow it could still touch us.
She asked, Where did the time go? So we left the prettiest house and I took her to a smaller one. My husband met us at the door and he said, “Look what we’ve been building.” And we saw beginning time that was slowly getting older. We saw it in the first year memories that had come and gone. We saw it in a puppy who was now a dog. We saw time stuffed into corners, hand-made furniture, and new family traditions. It was all barely 2 years old, but still so full of life.
She asked, Where did the time go? So we left my house and we walked by my sister’s house. We looked in the windows to see her cooking with her husband. The house is almost a year old, but the laughter is already so rich…the memories already so cherished. We could hear the time through the window panes, for time well-spent breaks through all barriers. So we just stood there and watched time happen. And those two just kept cramming treasures into their own history.
She asked, Where did the time go? So we walked a little further, and that red mailbox could not be mistaken. It was my younger sister. We caught her just as she was walking in the door. Her home was the newest of all, but sitting on the front steps was all the time that brought her here. And pouring through the house was music so beautiful. It was a composition of promise. We wave as her husband greets her with a smile. He nods our direction, and they offer us a cup of coffee.
She asked, Where did the time go? So I told her we just have one more stop. My brother is building now. His time is full of purpose and though a full structure has not been finished, there are flowers of good things, and small benches where time has been felt and lived. We see the heart of his future, and the frame is breathtaking. While he lives the time away, he makes a place for his time to go.
She asked, Where did the time go? So I tell her.
Mom, it went to good places.
It’s all over, stuffed, crammed full, overflowing.
Time isn’t gone, it’s been made.
So she went back to her house and I traveled back to mine. Time doesn’t wait for anyone, and if we’re going to spend it we have to say goodbye. And I am sure that if it wasn’t for such a loving Mom, all this time wouldn’t be going into such good places. I open up our young wooden door and my husband grins hello.
And I see that there is a gift in growing up, a gift in saying goodbye, and a gift in the faithfulness of a Mom who has used more than 23 years to give time to us no matter what she was feeling or experiencing.
I smile and whisper to myself—
Mom, the time went to good places.
TBT: My Family!