15 seconds. That’s how long the clip at the end of this post is. Not a very long time considering Vanessa and I have hours of video footage of Charlie. We were “those” parents who just had to capture every little thing our pride and joy did. We had a rabid case of “first-kid-itis” as I like to call it. Almost all new parents get it and we were unashamed about having it. We recorded him doing just about everything we deemed cute. (Which, as any parent suffering from “first-kid-itis” will tell you, is everything.) Needless to say, we amassed hours of footage in his short two years and ten months of life trying to capture every priceless memory.
I recently came across a saying that states, “Life is a collection of moments.” (Pretty deep. I know.) But for a guy whose view on life has been seismically shifted, it strikes a chord. I will never forget the moment Charlie was born into this world. And I will never forget the moment I physically felt Charlie die in my arms. Most importantly, I will try not to forget the millions of moments I shared with Charlie in between those two fateful moments. It’s in these moments that bonds are made and fortified. It’s in these moments where one’s character takes shape and solidifies. It’s in these moments that a relationship can be defined.
I am lucky enough to have such a moment on video. Of all the hours we have on our computer, I can show you one 15 second clip and you will see exactly what I am talking about. In this video -which was taken one week before he went to heaven-, Charlie and I don’t talk to each other. We don’t make eye contact. I didn’t know one of these moments was happening. But watching him peel off and run after me as if I was the absolute center of the universe makes me feel like I was loved and needed. I watched this video numerous times before he died. I’ve watched it 1000’s of times since. It’s the non-event or nothingness of this moment that makes it special for me. Just a boy and his Dad. Sometimes it’s all I need to remind me of the extraordinary bond I shared with Charlie. 15 seconds.