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Changing Times: Maintaining Focus Throughout life

Updated on November 29, 2015
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Chris practices free writing which often produces humorous or introspective results with practical applications to living life more fully.

The Time's They Are a-Changin', Bob Dylan Then...

The Seasons of Life

If your time to you is worth savin',
Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’--Bob Dylan, 1963

What is our time here all about? Some like to sum it up in one word; God. Others go the other direction and say it’s luck, chance. I look back on my own life and can say that there were times I knew exactly what I was here for.

I met Sandy in September of 1983. I had just moved to Michigan and decided to get a dog. I picked one up at the animal shelter and took it to the vet for its shots. Sandy was the receptionist for the veterinarian.

Long story shortened. We got married a year later. Had our first son less than a year after that. We added a second son and our little family was what it was supposed to be. For the next fifteen years, I had no question what my life was about. Two other pregnancies ended in miscarriages. Twins one time, very early. The second was Benjamin. He was twenty-six weeks along.

The Seasons of Life Change

Can I brag for a minute? I was absolutely focused on my wife and sons while we were all together. We worked together, played together, prayed together and had a full, meaningful family life.

In Dylan’s words, for those years, I was swimmin’. I knew what I was about.

Then came the diagnosis. If my world seemed to be coming unglued, Sandy must have felt hers was exploding or imploding or disintegrating. No one wants to hear they have cancer. And they certainly don’t want it to be accompanied by the word incurable.

But I discovered another reason I was placed on this earth. Be there. Be there for her, every minute, every appointment, every treatment. Be there. I started out well and ended well. In between I had some struggles, but we worked them out together.

I still struggle with losing her. Not only was her life cut far too short; diagnosed at age thirty-six and gone at forty-five, but I lost my dear partner and my reason for living.

Another year struggling, the one after Sandy died. Recently, in a hub pages forum response, I described this period as screaming at the universe, using a beer can as a megaphone. The insanity passed, and I have been finding my way again ever since. It keeps getting a little better, a little closer to a real living.


Sandy, our sons Scott and Dan, Sandy's parents.
Sandy, our sons Scott and Dan, Sandy's parents. | Source

....And Change Again

But it’s not like we have forever to get it right, at least not while we inhabit this body. Like Dylan said,

If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’

My sons and I, while separated by space, are bonding once again, and I am regaining their trust. But what now? What is the point, the purpose? I never have to look too far. If I look in places like a book to be written, a job secured or a home to be built, then I’m off target. Purpose is found only where people are found, because that is the only place where love can be expressed. I can’t dwell in the past or withdrawal in the present. Purpose is found in relationships alone.

I have my sons. I focus on them, and you, my hubpages friends. I’m still not very good at this people thing, not like I used to be. But with changing times, I’m finding a new path and a new energy with which to live.

The Times They Are a-Changin', Bob Dylan Now....


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