Sharing more photos of the Glockenspiel in Marienplatz, Munich, Germany. Memories of this place will always be among my favorites.
I have been thinking about the concept of memory this week. My brother and sister-in-law are planning a trip to the Grand Canyon soon and called to get pointers from us about what we saw there a few summers back. Unfortunately, mere hours before we went, a large roll of school bulletin board paper fell on my foot badly breaking my big toe. As a result I saw the Grand Canyon through the fog of pain medication. It wasn’t until the conversation with my brother and his wife that I realized I really have no memory of the Canyon itself. I am sure it is very pretty, but I couldn’t swear to it. I could say with certainty that there is a bench up top that provides a great place for a mother and daughter to talk while others hike. There is a mini-bus that takes you to different spots near the edge to give you the best views, but somehow the image of the mini-bus is much clearer in my mind than the views we must have enjoyed. Memory is a funny thing.
I read the book The $64 Tomato this week written by one of my favorite authors, William Alexander. In the closing Alexander writes, “Things I remember: Witnessing childbirth. Finding myself standing absolutely alone before Da Vinci’s Last Supper. And planting potatoes on a perfect spring morning.”
And so “in memory” of things I have already forgotten, and celebration of things I can still picture clearly, here is my own (ten) Things I remember:
I remember spilling an entire bottle of orange soda–back in the days when the bottles were thin, and tall, and glass– down the front of my new pristine white turtle neck. I remember crying as my mom slipped it over my head and into sudsy water that made the orange go away.
I remember Mom, my brothers, and I gathered at the front screen door watching a rare downpour in our dry prairie town. The creek across the street, filled to overflowing, rushed through the City Park and across town.
I remember the first time my heart was broken and the boy who did the breaking.
I remember snow wet and cold on my cheeks as I flew downhill on an old wooden sled.
I remember moving back to my hometown for a semester while my soon-to-be husband finished college. I remember sitting at the dining room table with my dad, him telling me it means so much to your mom to have these months with you before you get married.
I remember marrying that young man and being so choked with emotion I couldn’t say my vows.
I remember wanting a baby for so long and finally holding a test in my hand that said she was on the way. I remember the shear panic of feeling I could never be the mother she deserved.
I remember seeing her face on a sonogram one week and looking down into that same face for real the next week, and being numb as the reality set in that this small creature really was mine. I remember what it is like to feel the blossom of love unfold and grown inside your heart instantaneously.
I remember nursing another baby and being startled by the big brown eyes instead of green gazing back at me. I remember those same brown eyes sitting by my side on a bench atop the Grand Canyon so I wouldn’t be alone.
They say you can tell a lot about the qualities of a man by the way he treats his mother. I remember a son who has been by my side when I have experienced loss and has gathered me in his arms and shown me comfort.
All of these things I remember, and I am thankful.