Now that the move’s done, the nostalgia is setting in.
A few hours ago, I closed the door and locked up the office in a building that has been a part of my daily routine for nearly 20 years.
There’s no more art work of Elliana’s on the walls any more. Of course I plan to put it up at the new office, but the walls I’m leaving behind waited a long time to see the first little circle with arms and legs that was her first ‘person’ drawing.
The backwards L in her name when she started signing her pictures.
Her little lunchbag note to me “Daddy I’m always here for you”
I longed to cover my walls with daddy stuff, but it took me a lot longer to finally get that art work up.
For six of the twenty years I spent in that office, I took calls from Lisa as she cried about the results of another negative pregnancy test.
Watched the disappointed look in a co-worker’s face when I returned her pregnancy gift, because Lisa miscarried.
Remember the confused look on Lisa’s face when she brought in a little card saying “I’m here, but I’m really struggling to stay here.”
Our little Dublin.
Those were the heartbreaking memories I was glad to leave.
For the last 10-and-a-half years, I’ve had much better memories.
Like the pictures with recordings of Elliana saying “dada” about four months after she was born, and I was so depressed about being back to work at the office. I had taken a “home work” hiatus the first month after Lisa’s emergency C-section and thankfully my family jumped in and helped support all the work stuff when I had to play stay at home Daddy while Lisa healed from the trauma of the surgery.
Daddy daughter days were common on weekends as Elli entered toddlerhood, and we’d usually have breakfast at Coco’s and then Elliana would draw tons of pictures for my walls, while I got extra work done.
I had pictures of her everywhere in my office. Pictures of our little family. Finally.
I know more memories and pictures are ahead.
It just hit me that twenty years of my life went by in the blink of an eye.
I want to slow it down just a little.
I can’t even think about where I’ll be in twenty years.
Or more accurately–where Elliana will be in twenty years.
I need to make sure I treasure that time more.
Those old memories are being over run by the present and its frenetic pace.
Billy Joel really nailed it when he wrote his short little song, “Souvenir” and finished it up with these words:
Every year’s a souvenir, that slowly fades away.