A few nights ago I was doing one last channel surf before heading to bed when I stumbled across "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," a show I almost never watch because it's ... well, "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon." (But that's another subject for another day.)
What made me stop, look and listen was the presence of Bruce Springsteen -- along with the fabled E Street Band -- who, it turned out, would be the only guest(s) for the entire show. Once I realized that, I was hooked for the duration.
The most interesting part of this whole scenario?
Surprisingly, it wasn't the music of the Boss. Sure, that was great, as expected. We even heard "High Hopes" from his latest CD. But what was even better were the prolonged one-on-ones between Springsteen and Fallon.
One particular thought from Springsteen that I found incredibly interesting, maybe even profound, was when he was talking about his life, the people who have been a part of it, and what it has all meant to him.
"It's not the time in your life ... ," he said, pausing briefly. "It's the life, in your time."
Maybe it was because the Boss is 64 and I'm 60 that those words resonated so deeply. I was sure, in some strange way late that night, that Springsteen and I probably were having some of the same thoughts at that very same time.
Those words were no more out of his mouth when I found my mind wandering, and then wondering about my own life -- and time.
Have I been able to funnel enough life into my time?
The birth of my son, Geoff, immediately came to mind. I never thought anything could compare to that moment in time on a bright, sunny September day. And then daughter Kaysi came along a few years later -- on a bright, sunny June morning.
As Springsteen kept baring his soul that night, the years that have made up my own life kept flashing through my head. I remember the fall of 1995 forging an image, a night when the Cleveland Indians won their first pennant in my lifetime.
I'll never forget that evening or the tear that worked its way down my cheek. I thought of my dad, who had passed away a few years before that. He was the one who taught me to love and appreciate baseball in general, and the Indians in particular. What I would have given for him to be there that evening, but in a very special sense, I have always felt he was.
The Boss kept reflecting, and so did I in the solitude my living room. I thought of Kathy, my wife for the last 15-plus years, who has put up with a lot being married to me. What she brought into my life can never be measured or calculated, including two more daughters, Sarah and Melissa, who in recent years helped grow the family by giving us four grandchildren: Thomas, Grady, Matthew and Ella. So now we have four kids and four grandkids, and I don't look for either of those numbers to change.
Many in Quincy know Ella's story, Just over two years ago, she was badly burned in a house fire, an event that changed us all forever. Watching Ella's ongoing journey of recovery has involved a full spectrum of emotions for all connected to her. But it has also been a privilege to watch someone so little and so young fight so hard.
About then, it dawned on me, the life in my time has been quite fulfilling. I could never count all the mistakes and blunders I have made -- and to be honest, continue to make -- but as that conversation between the Boss and Jimmy Fallon drew to a close, I realized I would not want to change much.