My eighty two year old father and I have an ongoing game of Scrabble that sits on the glass coffee table in our living room. Sometimes we sit down and finish a game in a day, sometimes we make a word and walk away. Those games can take a week or two to complete. This type of play drives my honey nuts. If he is going to play a game, it is start to finish all at the same time.
When we first began to play several years ago when he came to live with us, he beat me regularly, racking up huge scores to my puddly ones. He and my mother had always done crossword puzzles together, so his vocabulary was far superior to mine. I progressively got better over the years, and can now hold my own against him.
Our games have also progressed with the times. Our first year we purchased a paperback Scrabble dictionary to check and double check. We allow using the dictionary to find words to play. That may not be legal in the rule book, but we both agree on this house rule. I have found my vocabulary increasing since we started that. A couple years ago, we both began using word find apps on our phones for when we were stumped with our letters. In our eyes, that is the same as using a dictionary, just a little faster. However, that has also increased the competitiveness of the game, as we are now very points oriented. That means that we may spend the spare time the app saved, looking for the most points.
I will miss these games when he is gone. I will miss walking past him on my way out the door and saying “I made my word”. I will miss his laugh when he makes his second seven letter word of the game. I will miss calling him a cranky old man when he makes those seven letter words (which he just did while I was writing). I will miss the complaining competitions we get into. “It’s hard to make a word with only one consonant” “Well, at least you don’t have four “I”s in your hand”. I will miss finding the bag of letters at my place on the table after work, or hearing him say “you’re gonna hate me” when he hands the bag to me when I’m walking past him from the laundry room.
All I know, is I want to make the most of the time I have with him, and the others I love today. Because this moment, right now, is really all we can guarantee.
Make the most of this moment. Play a game with a child, pat your honey’s butt (lovingly, peoples), take a walk with a parent. Text a friend how much you appreciate them. Sit on the porch and commune with God.