By Joseph J. Mazzella
It was over twenty years ago. My young family and I had just moved into the house I live in now. I could hear my children playing in my son’s bedroom while I washed the breakfast dishes in the kitchen sink. Our television was on the country music video channel and I was humming along to the tunes while I scrubbed the frying pan. Suddenly, I felt a gentle tug on the leg of my blue jeans. I looked down and saw my little daughter looking up at me with her sparkling blue-grey eyes. She had snuck back into the kitchen unheard. I smiled down at her, dried my hands, reached down and picked her up. I held her in my arms and we swayed back and forth for a few minutes to the music coming from the TV. Then she giggled, gave my neck a big squeeze, and motioned that she wanted down again. I gave her a final spin around, set her down, and watched as she laughed and ran down the hallway to play again.
I knew that she probably wouldn’t remember this moment, but I made sure to place it carefully in the treasure chest of my soul. Even then I was aware of how fast she was growing up and knew that if I blinked I would miss it. I was right too. The days flew by far too fast. Soon she was too “big” to dance with Dad anymore and hugs and kisses had to be done in private so I wouldn’t embarrass her in front of her friends. Before I knew it she was in high school, then college, and then living on her own. Yet, when I look at my adult daughter these days part of me still sees that bright eyed little girl so full of laughter and love.
Time in this life is brief. Always remember then to take the time to dance. Take the time to love. Take the time to pray. Take the time to laugh and to sing. Take the time to give hugs and kisses. Take the time to watch the sunset. Take the time to thank God for every day you have. Take the time to cherish each moment you are given. Life is too short not to be lived in joy.