Memories will last a lifetime

Published 9:52 pm Tuesday, September 24, 2019

By Nathan Rice

It had been a long week. The days at work were more stressful than normal, which caused me to leave each day feeling tired and worn. I worked at my second job every evening of the week after having only a quick dinner. It was now Saturday. Work was busier than normal, but I got off at 1 p.m., so I pressed through.

I wondered what I should do after work, and the list of options seemed endless.

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My first thought was to climb onto my couch, grab some snacks and the TV remote, and watch college football for the rest of the day. I had worked hard all week, and I felt justified having some time of relaxation.

I also thought that I should head to my second job. There was a lot that needed to be done, and I knew I could accomplish quite a bit if I put in a few hours.

On the other hand, my to-do list at the house was stacking up. I needed to clean, and I had a prescription ready for pick-up at the pharmacy. I needed to get these items done.

Lastly, my mind went to Timothy. He asked a few weeks earlier if we could go back to the farm that has the corn maze every fall. I promised him that I would do my best to take him again this year, but my calendar was filling up quickly. I knew this was the only week we might be able to go, but my to-do list wasn’t going to get any shorter if I didn’t conquer any tasks this Saturday afternoon and evening. Also, I was tired, and my couch is comfortable. There were plenty of games on TV of which to choose, and ODU was playing UVA later in the afternoon.

I struggled to decide which option would be the best. Eventually, I knew what I should do. A little later, Timothy and I were trying to find our way out of the corn maze. Once we found our way out of the maze, we fed some farm animals, shot a corn cob out of an air gun, played in a large sandbox, and picked out a pumpkin to carve.

We were waiting for the hayride when he asked how many years we had come to this farm. I told him it was our third year coming together. He talked about his favorite parts of the farm from each previous visit and said, “You always give the best memories!”

Timothy hasn’t had the easiest life, and a lot of the memories from his home are difficult ones. I’ve had the honor of working with him for years, and I am grateful that I can be the source of some good memories for his childhood.

I was still tired, but I had some additional energy now. My furniture wasn’t going to get dusted, and my floors were not going to get mopped, but that didn’t really matter. The list of items that I needed to accomplish for my second job now placed a distant second.

We drove home and began carving the pumpkin together. The ODU/UVA game had already started, but it no longer grabbed my attention. The game would be over in a few hours, but his memories would last a lifetime.

I urge you to carefully consider what the most important thing is when you go through your list of possibilities for the day. They won’t stay young forever. Time doesn’t stop and missed opportunities cannot be regained. Chores can be completed another time, the to-do list at work will still be there when you go back to work, and there will always be another game to watch.

Their childhood, however, lasts for only a short time. Make the most of the time you have been given with them and allow them to make the best memories while they can.

I’m not perfect, but I can confidently say that I made the right decision that day.

Nathan Rice is a Hampton Roads native and can be reached at