The older I grow, the less certain I am in the reality of the past. It is difficult to comprehend what it means to be non-existent. The past does not seem to exist. To say that it is, at least in some way, is to say that remnants of the past exist. But the past itself cannot exist, unless you subscribe to certain theories of time, and those theories have little correspondence to my own experience.
I realize that my son is today what he is today. He is not just the boy of yester-year who has grown. The dynamic between him and I is very present tense. The past has influenced the reality of the present, but it does not exist within the present. This is important because it helps me understand the transience of life (it is fleeting).
I think time, as we conceive it, is an illusion. I am not saying time, as an element, is an illusion, but rather time as we conceive it. We are specters living from present to present, grasping at the passing moment as if we could seize it and hold it still. But time, like water, slips through our fingers.