Tony A. Smith

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STOP – FIND THE TIME

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Did you know the first stop sign ever installed was installed in Detroit, Michigan way back in 1915? The first stop sign was a two foot by two foot square piece of metal with black letters on a white background. During that same year the first electric traffic signal was installed not far from there in Cleveland, Ohio. I guess it just kind of makes sense that stop signs and stop lights should first be installed in a place where cars were first mass-produced. This is not a post about stop signs and the history of stop lights. All I really wanted to do in the beginning here was to get you to think about stopping and putting your life on pause every now and then for the things that are important to you.

Sometimes we get so busy in our life when we get to be adults that we can’t seem to find the time to keep up with our parents when we get older and start a family of our own. I was guilty of doing that as well. When I graduated from college I moved away to Michigan and lived a great distance from both my mom and dad. I tried to get back to visit them as often as possible over the holidays. I know I certainly didn’t call as often as I would have liked to. My dad passed away a few years ago after a short battle with lung cancer. I have regrets about not only spending more time with him when he was sick but prior to that as well. I wish I could have just a few more minutes with him to talk things over on the phone like we used to or just one more visit. I miss that gleam in his eye and him patting me on the back and asking me how life is going. I miss the sound of his voice and the calm and reassurance that life was going to be okay. I wish I would have traveled back more often to visit or picked up the phone to give him a call just to say hello or ask him how his day was going.

There is a hit song by Harry Chapin from 1974 that kind of hits on this point about life and how we all get so busy with life that we end up not remembering what is really important. Part of the lyrics of the song go as follows…

“I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away

 I called him up just the other day

 I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind”

 He said, “I’d love to Dad, if I could find the time”

 

 “You see my new job’s a hassle and the kids have the flu

 But it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad

 It’s been sure nice talking to you,”

 

And the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon

 Little boy blue and the man in the moon

 When you comin’ home, son, I don’t know when

 We’re gonna have a good time then.

 

Yes, I wish I would have come home more often and I wish I would have called more often. It’s too late now though. How about you? Don’t let it be too late. Stop – find the time – whenever you can. I promise you that you won’t ever regret it!


5 Comments

  1. Art Farm says:

    Wonderful post, Tony! I lost both of my parents several years ago and often think about how I wish I talk to them one last time. I wish I wasn’t such a self-involved twentysomething and had called and gone home more. I try to be aware of the present and not let time tick away or say “I’m too busy”. It’s easy to get caught up in the rat race of work and homelife. But I always feel so much better when I have those connections. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

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  2. vsvevg says:

    I have been 1,500 miles away from my Mom for eight years. The one thing that make me thankful that I live on a tourist visa is that I must travel to the US every six months, generally I see me Mom. I am grateful for every visit.

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  3. Very nice reflection. I think is everybody story one way or another.

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  4. thehutowner says:

    You have a good post, Tony. It is quite a melodramatic piece and it leaves me missing my mom. My father passed away already and my mom is out there in the province together with my sister and family. Sometimes she’s alone in the house because my sister have work in the city to attend to. The other day my nephew texted me that my mom is asking me when I am going home. And I said that I still don’t know when. I think she’s 89 yrs old but still strong.enough to cook her food and wash the dishes. Me, too miss my father and I didn’t have a great time with him when he was alive. I’ll just visit him when I get home. I feel what you feel right now and really sad about the time lost. The lyrics of the song just perfectly fit your situation. Thanks….

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  5. thehutowner says:

    Reblogged this on the hut owner blog and commented:
    I think this is really everyone’s story. Spending more time with our parents who’re now nearing to meeting with the Creator should be done by every son and daughter.Now that they’re old they need more love and care. more hugs and kisses and more attention than ever before. Do it before they retire from life.

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