Before I tell you, I would like to ask you a few questions.
Q: How long is a day?
A: Twenty-four hours.
Q: How long is an hour?
A: 60 minutes.
Q: How long is a minute?
A: 60 seconds.
Q: Now, how long is a moment?
A: As long as it takes to click your camera’s shutter button.
Some people have asked me why I am writing my memoirs.
I think it is because I have come to realize that life is precious, and life is made up of little moments.
Yes, we think of living life in terms of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years. Yet what we remember most are moments.
The Kodak Camera company, in the 1920s, began to advertise their product with the slogan: “Capturing the Moments of Our Lives”.
The ironic thing is that so many of those special moments don’t appear to be all that special at the time that we experience them.
Whole days go by when life seems uneventful, mundane, even boring. Those same days may have moments that hurt us to the core, and we don’t want to remember the pain of it all.
We get busy “getting on with it”, and we do not realize how much our run-of-the-mill, daily lives really mean to us.
When we are very young, we cannot wait to get through school. The work seems so hard and endless.
High school graduation seems like an eternity away when you are in fifth grade.
Then one day you look back and realize that just thinking about those days makes you feel sad that they had to go by so quickly.
When you’re young, you cannot wait to grow up. Maybe you will start a career and earn lots of money. Maybe you will get married and start a family of your own.
Then you do — and you find out what work really is.
As you watch your children grow up and grow older before your eyes, you watch your parents slow down and grow old.
You see their hair getting gray and their energy level lagging. The thought begins to prick your mind that they might not always be there. You know in your head that you will probably outlive them, but your heart says their passing will be sometime in the far distant future.
You stay so busy watching your children, who are part of your heart and soul, going through all the delightful, excruciating stages of growing up and you barely have time to get your breath between one developmental stage and the next.
You hold on to the joy and excitement of times like your child’s first steps, first day of school, birthdays, and holidays. You squeeze in time to celebrate between laundry, cooking, washing dishes, mopping, dusting, checking homework, running errands, paying bills, grocery shopping, and working a job to make ends meet (or try to).
Much of the time you can only see the stress, the work, and the fatigue that has to be endured in exchange for all this joy (and sometimes pain).
Then one day, after the children have grown up, the grandchildren have begun to come along, and you own parents are no longer with you — you look back and review these days.
You suddenly realize that the days were filled with little moments, and you feel like your whole life has been a sacred experience.
I am convinced that it is!
We go through one day after another and do not realize how precious every day is until we have many years to look back on.
Then we begin to wonder — will this day — this long, tiring, boring, harried, average day someday seem sacred to me?
There is a country song by Trace Adkins called, “You’re Gonna Miss This”.
Famous quote by Linda Rivenbark: "Gotta love that Trace Adkins"!
Wake up, ________ (write your name here). Do not waste another precious moment not realizing that this moment, this day, and every other one is a rare and wonderful gift.
Accept it with open arms!
That is why I write.
To make the past come alive again.
To make every little moment a part of who I am today and who I am becoming.
I do not want to forget any of it.
I want to keep those precious moments with me always.
And so, I write!
(I first wrote and published this for Medium but wanted to share it on Vocal, too.)
About the Creator
I believe in the magic of words, love, and tenacity. There is a world out there that needs to be explored, researched, and written out to try to make some sense of it, and to make a better place for the children of tomorrow.