Fifty-six months. What can happen in 56 months? Too much. Much too much.
A son can graduate from college. A son can get married. He can have two kids. There are birthdays, Christmases, Thanksgivings, Anniversaries, New Year's Days, moments, mistakes, triumphs, questions, love, love lost, pain, loss, joy, laughter. Just know that in the span of 56 months, much, too much, can happen.
And if you sit away. Far, far away. On the other side of the world. You can miss all of it.
On the other side of the world, this is where my father has been for the past 56 months. It is not by his own decision, nor by the decision of his family. Nor by his friends. It was by decision of evil men. Or perhaps the tricks of the devil. Some would say, and I would not count them incorrect, the will of God.
For the test of time - in its ultimate testing - has failed to break you. It has failed. You have not.
There is a pain that eats away at the soul. Every single day it takes another bite. It is in the missing. The not being a part of your own life. The life that you have built. And you can only save the memories and relive them in an attempt to replace what is being lost. Lost as you sit alone questioning the reality you are in. Questioning the hand you have been dealt. And you think. You think on the goodness, the laughter, the joy, even the pain and sadness; yes, those thoughts bring hope. Because even in those times you were there. You were present. No one had forced your absence.
So you beat your fists against the walls of time closing in on you and hope that somehow your soul will transcend time. It will transcend time and space, and that somehow favor will fall on you to be given an extra 56 months your life had not before been granted. And by the grace of God, you have the faith that He has granted it.
And perhaps He has granted it. But how could one know?
For a while, at least right now, it simply doesn't matter. That 56 months has passed. The other side of the world has finally come to your doorstep and you are now given time. And you know exactly what you will do with it. You will drink coffee with your wife. For the test of time - in its ultimate testing - has failed to break you. It has failed. You have not.