Time is a funny thing.
It always goes too fast when you want it to slow down, and it always goes slow when you need it to be fast. Time can never go backwards, it can only move forward, and the most unfortunate thing about time, is that it cannot be stopped – It continues to tick by, even when you want to hit pause.
When it comes to the time you have with your loved ones, you always want it to go slow and you sometimes want it to stop completely, so you can hold on to them and the moment you’re in with them for a little longer. And then when your loved one is gone, you wish that time could go backwards, so that when you open your eyes, they are still there smiling at you.
Unfortunately, time gives you none of this.
However, the other day, as I sat and visited with my grandma, she did give me the gift of stopped time and the treasure of moving the hands on the clock backwards.
She handed me two antique, golden watches.
One was completely broken, as the hands on the face stood completely still. She said this one was a lost cause. However, the other was able to be fixed. She said this one was a stubborn watch, just like her. It always stopped ticking when you weren’t paying attention, but as soon as you pushed the knob back in to place, you were able to adjust the time, meaning you could move it forward to the correct time, or even move it backwards to a desired time.
As she told me how the broken watch was not worth the hassle, but the gold in it could be worth money if I sold it, and how the other watch could be fixed, but it would still act up like it had for her in the past, I just smiled. It was funny to me that she was so set on getting rid of the broken watch and fixing the other, when to me, they were exactly how I wanted them to be.
They were exactly how I wanted my time and moments with her to be.
However, I know that time with my grandma is eventually going to come to an end, and that sadly, I cannot stop this from happening. I also know that when time with her does end, I will not be able to go backwards and be in moments with her like I was the other day, sitting on her couch talking about life and broken watches. This is heartbreaking, like I know it is for everyone else in the world.
The only things from a loved one that can be stopped, reversed, and played back, are the memories you made with them. Whenever you miss them, you can go back to the happiest moment you remember with them. For me, that would be making dozens upon dozens of cookies with my grandma, before dancing around her living room to Willie Nelson’s song “I’m Looking Over My Four Leaf Clover.” And when you found a moment that makes your heart happy, you can stop there, for as long as you need to.
I know that my grandma will keep asking me if the broken watch was worth any money or if I got the stubborn watch fixed, but I want to keep them exactly how they are. So that when I want time to stop completely when I am spending time with her, I can look down at the broken watch, and it will be stopped. And when I want to go back to my most treasured days with her, I can crank the hands on the stubborn watch backwards, and go to any desired time.
God does not give you the opportunity to stop time or to go back in time. That is just not how he designed life to be.
However, if you’re lucky enough, God does give you a grandma like mine, who does gift you with the opportunity to reverse or stop time. Well, at least the memories.