Father time is coming for you


Ryan Houston-Dial

As we grow, the essence of Father Time subtly follows our path until he deems we have reached our destination. As we lose interest in our favorite childhood activities or wrinkles appear on our faces, we recognize Father Time slowly walking along our path. My grandfather, who I referred to as “PawPaw,” immediately comes to my mind when thinking about living life to its fullest.

I vividly remember watching horror films, Friday nights on AMC with my grandparents; often times resulting in the excuse, “PawPaw and Grandma, I’m too scared to sleep by myself because the monsters are going to get me, so can I sleep with y’all?” The following Saturday morning a lovely breakfast aroma spread throughout the house causing me to wake up instantly. As I dashed into the kitchen my grandparents always reminded me to wash my face and hands.

Benny Ockletree, also known as “PawPaw,” was best described as a proud and strong man with a soft spot for his grandchildren. In mid-December, my grandfather passed away, just one week after I finished finals and had a successful appendix surgery. Sounds extremely stressful, right? However, an appreciated phrase my grandmother often used was “resting,” and I understood beyond its definition.

My grandfather worked hard throughout his life, not only to reach his goals, but also help others along the way. He battled sickness and dealt with a lot of adversity, but never failed to smile while at his lowest. I cried at the funeral and the thought of not having him there intensified my fear. As the day went on, I chose to identify a new perspective on life, understanding the inevitable while embracing the unknown.

I believe if individuals knew their last day was tomorrow, today would be spent with high energy and gratitude. My message to you is embrace the unknown opportunities in your lifetime. Do not fear death itself but not living enough within your lifetime. Remain fearless in pursuing your endeavors, and understand failure is the first step in succeeding. Express the deepest appreciation to individuals who have helped you obtain success.

Although death is unpredictable, the possibilities of living a great life are limitless. Furthermore, celebrate the lives of past loved ones and live to tell their amazing life stories. Act today. Be great today. Love today. Conquer today. Nothing is promised so do everything you’ve ever dreamt of because Father Time visits without a heads up.