Time in a Bottle

When I was growing up in the 1970s, my friend and I spent hours listening to popular records of the day. One of my favorite songs was “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce, excerpted below:

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day
Till Eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you
l’d make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you.

In thinking about the lyrics to this song, it occurred to me that I have all the time in the world to live a healthy, happy life. And it’s all because of bottles. Way before I was born, my Grandmother moved from Ohio to the west coast of Florida to become a real estate broker. She specialized in acreage, and as she explored and investigated property, she came across dozens and dozens of old bottles buried in the earth, most likely from early English settlers. She decided to start collecting them. Eventually her office was filled with bottles; her home, as well. She had so many, in fact, she opened a Bottle Shop in a nearby town which my Aunt managed. Grandmother frequently attended bottle shows, where she swapped, bought and continued to learn about the value and beauty of bottles. When Grandmother passed away, my husband spent hours cleaning out bottles from her house and office. Then he opened the lock to the shed outside, a building about 10 feet wide and 15 feet high. It is not an exaggeration to say that boxes filled with bottles were stacked from floor to ceiling. Today my house is filled with bottles – large ones, tiny ones, fun ones, green ones, blue ones, white ones, hand-blown ones, very old ones and very interesting ones. Which brings me to an exciting and amazing conclusion. While none of us know how much time we have, even with all the bottles in our home, I have no need to worry. These bottles are not just filled with time itself, they also hold the key to precious memories, lovely wishes, fun-filled days, family and friends, and the beauty of our world. When I look at my bottles, I see life overflowing with joy. My life might be cut shorter than most, but with all the bottles in our home, I have no need to worry. My Grandmother left all her grandchildren with bottles that hold time and memories forever. For that, I thank her, and I know she is watching me now as I put my bottles to very good use: living life to its fullest.

Laura Mercer, a Charlotte, NC reporter and PR Executive, was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s disease at age 46. She and her husband, Greg Mercer, recently joined the Alzheimer’s Association Board of Directors to help educate others. Laura credits her online journal to Psalms 118:24 and encourages others to follow her writings about life, family and Alzheimer’s at www.lauramercer.wordpress.com.