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My Father's Watch

By Dale A. Robbins

It sits on my desk inconspicuously. The finish is a faded and well-worn silver. It's second hand sweeps effortlessly around the oval face, ticking faithfully for each second passed. This is my father's watch.

Dad has been gone now for more than a year, and each day since, I've thought of him and reflected on our lifetime of memories, especially when I look at his old cherished wristwatch. He was 94 when he passed away, and at the close of his life he had few earthly possessions left of his own at the nursing home... the last of which, was the timepiece he wore.

In the wee hours of that fateful morning, we could all tell that dad's mortal struggle was coming to a close. In his weakened and semi-comatose condition, the nurses worked feverishly to ease his pain and to sustain each breath. They began to remove his watch, which he had always insisted wearing, but as they did... he resisted weakly, and then relented... as though he knew he was nearing the end and could now discard any further concerns with time.

With our family and medical personnel gathered around his bed, the watch was handed from one to another... almost as if no one wanted to take its possession... and was finally placed in my hands. My siblings nodded to me approvingly, and as his youngest surviving son I slipped it in my pocket, with tears swelling from my eyes. It was though a mantle of great importance, the last symbol of my dad's enduring life had been imparted to his son.

Since that time, during and after his funeral... and each day since, I've carried his watch with me or have placed it on my desk, as a constant reminder of his life and the devotion he held for me and our family. And perhaps a small but amazing observation to me, is how consistent it has been to continue its purpose. Dad is gone... his life has ceased... but his watch remains alive, still measuring each second of every day, bringing reality to the notion that while time has ceased for one, it continues on for the rest of us.

But his timepiece does something more. As I ponder the constant ticking, I'm reminded of many of my dad's consistent characteristics. He was a simple, old fashioned man, definitely set in his ways, and a person of reliable encouragement. Whenever I was with him, he could always be expected to say whatever was on his mind, which usually also included some type of encouraging words. Now it is as though the sounds from his watch, continue to relay a cadence of his familiar encouragement... as if cheering me on to keep living life to its fullest: "I'm proud of you son, keep on going, you have purpose here, don't give up."

Someday when this life comes to a close for me, I hope the watch I pass on to my kids will also symbolize something meaningful about my legacy. Character, integrity, faith, perseverance... such honorable virtues every father should leave as an example to his children, as I hope to leave for mine. Likewise, when my time on earth is passed... and as my child reflects on the wristwatch I wore and left behind ... I hope that they will be as inspired as I have been by "my father's watch."

Copyright © Dale A. Robbins 2007
-  In loving memory of my father, Myron F. Robbins


This article (VL-618) is copyrighted © by Dr. Dale A. Robbins, 1990-2023 and is a publication of Victorious Publications, Grass Valley, CA - Nashville, TN. Unless otherwise stated, scripture references were taken from The New King James Bible, © Thomas Nelson Inc., 1982. In some references to real persons, pseudonyms may have been used to preserve their privacy. You may download this article for personal use as long as you retain credit to the author. Obtain permission before reproducing copies for any reason, by filling out our simple use permission form. Many of our writings are also available as free pdf tri-fold pamphlets, which can be downloaded for reproduction from our Online Catalog. For media reproduction rights, or to obtain quantities of this title in other formats, email us. If you have appreciated these online materials, help us reach the world with the Gospel by considering a monthly or one-time tax-deductable donation.