The memories have been strong this past week. They span the nineteen years Diane and I have been in this building, stretch across our entire legal careers and even back to a time when my father was a young man. Going through my old books, I sometimes would find faded writings or a long forgotten business card. Some of my books had been my father’s when he was studying law, and out would fall some note he had written, a passing thought, unimportant really, but unknown and unseen for six decades, and now a treasured relic. These tiny slices of time would emerge from their sojourn across the years, and, for just a moment, I would stand in my father's shoes, sharing his thoughts and that brief moment in time.
A few of my father’s belongings have accompanied me through part of my career. One is a framed image of Abraham Lincoln that was given to him by the Bar Association upon passing the Tennessee Bar in 1961. It includes a quote attributed to Lincoln: “A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade.” This picture was always prominently displayed in my father’s office and is associated with my earliest memories of visiting him in his office. Although we learned a few years ago that this quote cannot actually be proven to have been made by Abraham Lincoln, it certainly sounds like something Lincoln could have said, so we proudly had it on display in our office too.
Closing these doors is becoming more difficult than I thought it would be. But while there is much to remember, there is even more to look forward to. When I am asked “When was the best time of your life?” I usually reply, “Right now!” I have felt that way a long time now. I try to keep the best memories of the past, live my life in the present, and always look forward to the future -- it has so much potential, even as we all time travel together, one day at a time.