Eighteen years ago today, my father passed away of a heart attack. My family and I are quite adjusted, so no need for any more sympathy on our behalf; however, I find it quite remarkable that the world has changed so much in 18 years. I'm not talking about me or how my life has changed (although my life has changed tremendously since I was 12), but really how much the world has changed. For example, my father would have had no idea what this whole internet thing was about. If he showed up on Earth today, he would wonder what this www.blogger.com stuff was about, as well as any other website address that is posted on everything from pens to trucks to letterhead, etc. He probably would have never heard of an ipod, a blog, an email address, DVDs, "going green", Osama Bin Laden, Monica Lewinski. He never had a cell phone, a laptop, or the opportunity to see any of the new episodes of Star Wars - not that he probably would have cared - I'm not sure about that one, but still it is interesting that I take all these things for granted as everyday life and part of my jargon - especially my blog, email, and cell phone.
There was no such thing as satellite radio. He did not have a cd player in his car. He did not get to watch Britany Spears go "Oops, I did it again" - in more ways than one. Once again, I'm not sure he would have cared. He couldn't just pick up his cell phone and call home when he got a flat tire - he had to carry a quarter to make a call at the nearest pay phone. There were few SUV's and "SUV" was not a common term back then. There was no Firestone tire episode, no memory of 9/11, no epidemic of crystal methe and having to register to buy sudafed at the store, no reason to leave your pocket knife at home when flying, no such thing as "Homeland Security." It is amazing all the things that have happened since his death. I can't even post a picture of him because I don't have an electronic picture of him. I think the last major thing to happen while he was alive was the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Just think back to what you were doing then and it should put into perspective how much can happen in just 18 years, when really, 18 years just doesn't seem like a very long period of time in the grand scheme of things. But clearly, 18 years is a very long time in the grand scheme of our lives.
So, take a moment today to be thankful that we're here to appreciate all the wonders of our world, good and bad. Take a moment to be thankful that you will see someone you love today. And always remember this, and I quote from someone else's deceased father (may he rest in peace), "Yesterday is a canceled check. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is the only cash you have - spend it wisely."
All my love to everyone reading, and to you, Dad. We still miss you.