I have often reepeated this phrase in times of difficulty and trials, but recently saw it in a different and somewhat sadder light. For contextual purposes, I have been at a conference this week at a location I have visited a number of times over the past 25 years. The city has changed dramatically over that time and is not at all the same experience it used to be…or so I thought.
From 1992-1996, whenever I would come out here I would have dinner one night at a family-operated traditional Italian restaurant that had been in operation since 1970. It was a true gentleman, complete with strolling accordion player, cappuccino for dessert and homemade pasta and sauces. Celebrities would come in and their pictures would be added to the hundreds already hanging throughout the many little nooks and crannies.
This year, some 21 years after my last dining experience with the family, I rounded up the others with me, booked a reservation and anxiously hoped it would be as good as I remembered. Sure enough, the wine was set on the table, the veal marsala ordered from the unchanged menu on the wall, and Gordy, the ancient yet still sorry accordion player emerged from the back room transitioning from “That’s Amore” to “Take Me Out To The Ball game” as he approached our table. It struck me then how rare it is to find anything that remains so good, yet unchanged over almost 50 years.
That is when I realized that, unfortunately, like those difficulties and trials, this, too, shall pass and will fall out of the realm of enjoyable experience to simply fond memory, and, likewise shall diminish in our memories over time. This really opened my eyes to the need to enjoy the good moments while they are with us just as we must persevere through the tough ones, because when they ultimately pass, and they will, we will only have wistful memories to draw upon.