Dr. Billy Holland: Precious memories will last forever
Dr. William F. "Billy" Holland Jr. is an ordained minister, community chaplain and author of the "Living on Purpose" faith column. He lives in central Kentucky with his wife, Cheryl.
There are different seasons in life and now in my retirement, I’m enjoying this opportunity where my daily schedule is not as demanding as it once was. I’m not saying there are not plenty of things to do, but I can plan my days instead of obligations controlling me.
In this season where most everyone hopes to reach eventually, I’ve discovered that having more “me time” also allows me to think about things that maybe I would normally be too busy to ponder. As a writer, I can express this endless flow of thoughts and considerations and for that I am grateful.
I usually have at least 10 articles going at the same time and when a thought comes to me, I will add it to ideas I've already started. I know it sounds strange, but it works for me.
I rarely had the chance to contemplate when I was younger because I always had a lot to do. I would try to relax in my backyard and would usually notice some weeds that needed to be pulled or a fence plank that could use an extra nail and before I knew it I was up and working again. I’m finally coming to a place where my internal peace is more important than digging up a dandelion.
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I am sitting here in my office writing today and I see it is 3 in the afternoon and I’ve not even thought about lunch. This is not unusual as some days in the winter I will write until 7 or 8 in the evening and then join my wife for one of our ministry programs or survival reality shows.
She is also retired and stays perfectly content during the day with cooking, gardening, Bible study and watching her YouTube videos about people who are trying to live off the grid. We are satisfied to have our own quiet space which keeps us from driving each other crazy.
For those of you who are not retired yet, these are important issues you will also learn to adapt and deal with. This morning as I was deep in thought about the significance of John 3:16, for some reason I started thinking about my dad. There is no actual connection with this but my mind just drifted off to a time long ago and I was reminded how much I miss him.
He was a great father and I often wonder how his life and our family’s lives would have been different if he had not spent the second half of his journey battling a devastating kidney disease and being on dialysis. It just seems he was so focused on staying alive that he forgot how to live.
Our past is filled with memories, and the good ones are precious. I remember the times when my dad and I would go fishing and Mom would pack us lunch in an old picnic basket. We would be out on the lake and I can still recall all these years later the calm water, the sun shining and a light summer breeze.
It was so much fun to see who could catch the most and the largest fish. These were special times where it seemed that he and I stepped out of the normal world of daily routines and into a personal realm that only we shared. He would get excited with childlike joy and these moments I store in a secret chamber within the corridors of my mind.
When I grew up, I started my own family and then he became very sick. Not only did I not have the time to go places with him, but he also did not feel like doing anything. As the years went by, his condition deteriorated and in 2016 he went to be with the Lord.
I believe the enthusiasm and compassion he had in this life cannot compare to the happiness he enjoys today. Of course, I am sad he is not here, but at the same time, I rejoice with him in knowing that all is well and I will see him again.
I also think about my children and now that I have the time to do things with them, they are busy with families of their own. I encourage you today whether you are a parent or a child, to take the time and spend some special moments with each other. These are the precious memories that will last forever.