Saturday, August 24, 2019

Life's Melancholy

I’m getting older; we all are. Each of us marches to the same drumbeat of time, and with each passing day, we are closer to the end than we are to the beginning. For those of us who know what awaits, who yearn for the day to see our Lord and King face to face, the end is not a frightening prospect, rather a joyous one.

There are, however, moments of melancholy that overtake us, when we begin to ponder certain aspects of this fleeting existence, simply because of context and the implications thereof.

I hadn’t seen my dad in close to three years. Getting up the courage to take on a transatlantic flight was far easier when it was just the wife and I. Now, with two toddlers in tow, it’s not only more challenging but also cost-prohibitive.

Anyone who has ever traveled with children can attest to the fact that it is taxing, and grueling, especially on what amounts to a good twenty-four hours of connections, flights, and layovers. By the time you get to where you’re going, the only thing you want to do is sleep, and when you’ve finally gotten caught up with your rest and acclimated to the time difference, it’s time to go back home.

After a bit of back and forth, trying to work out times and dates, my dad finally decided to come and visit. He wanted to meet his youngest granddaughter, get to know her older sister, and just relax for a spell. He’s been with us for a couple of weeks, and it’s been good to catch up, spend some time together, and just talk.

Both my dad and I come from the stoic sort of mindset. We don’t call or text every day, we don’t flood each other’s inboxes with sappy clichés, we are men, father, and son, and our reciprocal affection need not be spoken of endlessly. It exists, it is there, we shake hands, hug, shed a few tears, then get on with the tasks at hand.

Even so, I couldn’t help but be overcome with a sense of melancholy as I sat on a park bench with my dad, and reminisced about this journey called life. We discussed everything from how we’d left our homeland, to how hard the first few years had been, to how God had seen us through all the valleys and hardships.

One of my dad’s favorite sayings that whether in the valley or on the mountaintop, God remains unchanged. He is the same God whether you are going through a trial, or are glorying in your victory.

The reason for the melancholy I was feeling was because I realized this could very well be the last time I would sit and reminisce with my dad this side of eternity. In less than a week, he will be flying back to Romania, and only God knows what the future holds both for us as individuals, and this world as a whole.

What I know for certain is that we have the memories of the times we shared in the present regardless of what the future holds.

This present life is a fleeting thing; A breath, a sigh, a single drop in an ocean of eternity, and far too many get so busy, they put off making memories until it’s too late. Know what matters in life. If you have acquired this singular piece of knowledge, you’re ahead of the pack by a good margin.

Some people discover what matters only when it’s too late, some never at all, and this is why so many go through life godless, sick, empty, and fearful. 

With love in Christ, 
Michael Boldea Jr.

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