Grace was surprised that 10 years had passed since we’d last gotten together. "It seems like only yesterday we were all sitting around this very table, chewing the fat," she said.

"Time flies," said her husband, Fred.

"And the older we get, the faster it flies," said Grampa, “and it’s never flown faster than it’s flying right now, so let’s not waste another second."

He rose to his feet, and raised his wine glass high. "Here’s to life!"

"Here’s to life!" we chorused, standing and clinking our glasses together.

We all sat down again.

"Why?" said Bobby.

"Why what, Dear?" said his mother.

"Why does time go faster when you’re old?"

"That’s a question for Grampa, Dear," said Denise. "He’s the expert in that field."

Bobby turned to his Grampa for an answer.

Grampa took a couple of seconds to compose his thoughts. "Why does time go faster for me than for you?” he said. “Because, for you, what happened 70 years ago happened 7 lifetimes ago. For me, it happened only one lifetime ago. That about sums it up. It’s all about lifetimes and relativity."

Bobby looked confused.

"You’ll understand it better as you age," said Grampa.

"What’s relativity?" asked Bobby.

"Relativity? Now, that’s getting into some pretty heady stuff, Bobby. You ever heard of Albert Einstein? No? Well, he had a theory about that—about relativity—which, frankly, I’ve never been able to get my head around, so I’ve had to come up with my own theory, which is this—if it weren’t for something else, there’d be no something."

Grace was choking on her wine. Bobby looked even more confused.

"For instance," Grampa said, "without day, there’d be no night ... without wrong, no right ... without short, no tall ... without round, no ball ... with no forward, no back ... with no tic, no tac ... without pounds, no pences ... without Marks, no Spencers ... with no watches, no fobs ... without Hope, no Bob ...”

"You’ve had a few too many brownies, Dad," said Denise. Grace was pushed back from the table coughing into her napkin.

"May I leave the table, Mom?" asked Bobby.

"Sure, Darling."

Placing a hand on Bobby’s shoulder, Grampa said, "Without staying, no leaving." With his other hand, he helped himself to another brownie, and nudged the plate closer to Grace.

> magic

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