Monday, August 2, 2021

"Tempus Fugit" -- Time Flies: Watching My Eldest Daughter Get Married

My wife and I recently attended the wedding of my first child, Jenna -- who is 28 years old. We drove 11 hours from our home in Indiana to the venue in Minnesota. As those hours clicked by, I recalled many special moments with Jenna -- dating back to 1993. As I did, I couldn't help but to think of a phrase imprinted on a pendulum wall clock that I gave to her in June for her birthday. On that clock are the words "Tempus Fugit"... which is a Latin phrase, usually translated into English as "time flies." The expression comes from a writing by the Roman poet, Publius Vergilius Maro -- usually called 'Virgil.'

I believe that parents best understand how quickly time flies. Watching children grow up, mature, and eventually marry certainly makes a parent pause to reflect about the passage of time and just how quickly the years go by. As the mileposts went by in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota, I kept thinking "Tempus Fugit" -- time flies.

I remember well dancing with Jenna in a little red house in Montana when she was just a few years old. I knew that one day I would be dancing with her at her wedding reception. It has been 28 years since I became a father and as I watched her dance with her husband I kept thinking... Tempus Fugit, time flies. Then, it was my turn to dance with her for a father/daughter moment on the dance floor. She didn't know it at the time, but when she reached out her hand to step onto that floor, I saw the little girl that would reach out to me like that when I got home from work. She would wait anxiously by the front door and reach out to me for a hug and to spend time together. When my newly-married daughter reached out to me before that dance, I saw -- and felt in my heart -- the little girl that was always so eager to spend time with me. It pierced my heart instantly, and my eyes welled up. Jenna stayed very composed, while I struggled with emotions that she won't understand until she is a parent at her own child's wedding. Tempus Fugit... time flies. Just how fast that time goes swept over me like a tidal wave as I danced with her.

Jenna and I reside in different states, nearly 600 miles apart. We don't see each other often and that's simply the reality of life. Children grow up, marry, and blaze their path in life -- which is often away from parents. She is beautiful, intelligent, successful, and now... a wife. Her husband is a fortunate man, and she is blessed to have a man who loves the woman she has become. He didn't see the entire journey to that point as I did, but I pray that he will always love and cherish her as if he did.

Before I walked Jenna down the aisle, she gave me cufflinks as a surprise gift. I wore them as we took each step side by side. One of the cufflinks was a photo of she and I from when she was a young child. The other cufflink had these words printed on it: "Always your little girl." My little girl got married last week and I'm still looking at those cufflinks thinking Tempus Fugit... time flies.

From Him, Through Him, For Him (Romans 11:36),

Paul J. Staso

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