Time is a word with many definitions.

Webster’s Dictionary defines it as the duration in which things happen in the past, present or future; a system of measuring the passing hours; the period between two events; a period of history; or a period worked. We sometimes convey its relativity by using words like: mean time; apparent time; Greenwich Time. And Einstein, who confused all of us about time, won a Nobel Prize for it.


But in our heritage, time is altogether something different, understood though almost indefinable. This conversation may help you understand:
“In school they told us drinking is bad. Do you drink Dad?”
“Drink? Me? Nooooooooooo. Well, I might have a beer if I’m at a “Time.”

“A “Time?” What’s that?”
“A “Time,” You know. Where people get together to honor you and you eat and you drink.”
“Oh. We have a “Time” every Sunday at Grandma’s.”
“No, not that kind of a time. I mean a real “Time” with lots, really lots, of people. And they talk about you, and hug you, and kiss you. And they drink and eat a lot. And then you can say they gave you a “Time.” And they say, “What a “Time” it was!” Now do you understand?” “Nope.”

“A Time”

“Try this. A “Time” is like what happens after someone graduates, has an anniversary, or gets married. They give him a “Time.” It’s an honor thing. Like this one, this Communion thing for you.”

“Oh. Now I think I understand. People come for you. They dress up, eat, drink, talk around and sometimes they’re just there.”
“Yeah, and they leave a gift, like a Cross Pen and Pencil set. Or soap on a rope. Or rosary beads.”

“Yeah, I like that. So you can have a “Time” any time, right?”
“Well almost but not really. You have to do something, like get your First Communion or die.”
“Like when Uncle Bart died?”
“Right! And then after the funeral people say, “We went to the 1025! Oye, what a “Time” they put on. Not just a breakfast; a full meal! It was a “Time!” Or, when we went to Cousin Frankie’s new house with the finished basement, and we said “Wow what a “Time” we could have down here.”
“OK. And the “Time” is at a special time of day, right?”
“Right.”

And the timing for the “Time” has to be timed for you and what you did, right?”
“Right.”
And you just can’t have a “Time” any old time, right?”
“Right. Now you get it.”
“Yep, now I get it. I am getting dressed. Let’s go to the “Time.”

“You’re timing is perfect.”
“Thanks. Wait. One other thing. I’ll bet they gave Einstein quite a “Time” when he discovered that stuff about time.”
“Right again.”

“Then let’s go. We’re off to a “Time.”

© 2018