Could it really be 18 years? Eighteen years since the cold January morning when seven-year-old Bethany and I happened along as a hopelessly drunk young man pointed his truck from bar to home, only to meet us in between?
Could it be 18 years since that sweet girl flashed her last smile, giggled her last laugh, drew her last breath?
It must be, unless all the calendars are wrong and time has turned back on itself.
Time is a fascinating notion. We know that the length of a minute or an hour does not change, but some days drag on like a trek through knee-deep mud, while others flit away long before we're ready.
I have come to understand that however time may seem to move, every moment of it is a gift. Every hour, every day, every year is chock-filled with chances to cherish people, to celebrate life, to contribute to something bigger than ourselves.
Time is far too valuable, I think, to spend on regrets, what-ifs, and might-have-beens. Time moves on, and if we want to find joy in life, we have to move with it. If that calls for hope, we hope. If it requires risk, we risk. If it offers love, we love. In all of that, we live.
And give thanks.