Time and tide wait for no man. A friend of mine’s dad used to say that all the time about everything it seemed like. It was a sort of mantra i guess.
Seems as though we heard it often when pokey, slow young boys were dallying on chores or playing with the worms instead of hooking them and tending to the business of fishing.
And so, “time and tide” stuck in my head as I was growing up coming from the father of one of my friends instead of this lesson coming from my own dad.
My parents divorced when I was rather young… about 10 and he wasn’t really in the picture much. I learned a different lesson on the few weekends spent with my dad throughout my childhood. The lesson I learned was he was always right no matter what. He could do anything at anytime. No one told him what to do. This was something learned even before he left us actually.
And so, I’ve always thought of my dad as strong, resolute, unbending, unyielding and able to do anything.
He could do anything.
I suspect, through the eyes of a child (perhaps even a young adult) I thought, if my dad wanted to, he could stop time and still the seasons.
I went golfing with my dad and a few of his friends on Christmas day when his golf club was closed. He picked up the game about eight or so years ago and is obsessed with it. As a result he has gotten pretty decent at the game. Because the club was closed we walked the course. It makes for a long day… about six and a half hours.
One of his buddies from his church who played with us is about 70… maybe 75 years old and routinely plays from the red tees… the tee box closest to the green. My dad decided to join him. For the first time dad played the red tees.
He didn’t hit ’em as long as I’ve seen him hit ’em before. As the day wore on he began to move slower. And somehow he looked smaller than I have ever seen him.
It was sobering. It was scary. It was the end of something.
And like when children finally come to grips with the idea that Santa doesn’t really exist or that the tooth fairy isn’t the one leaving coins under the pillow, a haze was lifted from my vision of me seeing my father as invincible.
It’s hard to accept as true. It’s hard to accept.
[Deist rifles through the computer for a file… “i know it’s here somewhere. ahhh… there we go. good times… good times.”]