I take a lot of pictures. Partly because I am an artist and extremely visual and partly because I have a horrible memory about specifics sometimes and like to have the pic to remind me of the details. It jogs the memory. And being so visual, it takes me to the very spot again and I can relive it in my mind. And as I went through so many beautiful pictures of so many varied events, from family vacations to my kids’ endeavors to my band family and gigs to my Daddy in various stages of decline to nature around us which is amazing to home improvements and so many things. I love to think back. Some things seem like they happened yesterday and some things hard to believe happened. I vaguely remember the year leading up to and after my Daddy’s death, so much was going on. I think what a blessing it was to have the band’s and gigs then for a creative outlet while caretaking and the slow plague of dementia. And now both bands are so different, one we have moved on from and one we are reworking and taking a break from. A pantry lives and breathes where there was a blank slate. Other major house changes are here now. People have moved out of and into our lives. We have traveled and relaxed in some beautiful places. And I see and remember. And I am super super blessed by it all. I feel so blessed to have been a part of so many great things, a part of my good family, a part of other people’s lives. We are so very blessed!
We all have regrets, mostly memories that haunt us because of being incomplete or unresolved or abruptly change or all of the above. There can be unforgiveness or the ever present wish that things had gone differently or you had known such and such at the time or what not. And these things (as I often over think things and reminisce in my ever-thinking, over-reaching, hyperactive brain) can bite you and consume way too much energy. What I have found to be helpful is a combination of reason, objective analysis, thought of both sides, acceptance, and forgiveness. A much more efficient plan, and I confess I just learned how to do this, is to go straight to acceptance that God is in control and in charge and knows best and then forgive myself for my part and/or the other party involved foe their part. And if you can see that clearly to do that right away, oh how clear the mind becomes and how much less cluttered the file cabinets of the mind. Truly, no amount of stewing or brewing or reining or regretting or remembering can change one iota of the present and quite conversely can hinder present energy and happiness. Just a thought.
I understand that I may get a lot of flack for this, but I believe the Bible does not forbid drinking but commands against drunkenness and gluttony (personally, I think being judgmental is far more heinous a crime). So I drink now and then but to this day have never been drunk or high once. (I confess I have enjoyed chocolate way too much on occasion.) Needless to say, a glass of red wine now and then keeps my tummy calm. And recently, I have found the drink from a good memory with my best friend in the past when we stayed at a bed and breakfast in Niles, Ohio. They had served a nightcap of a wonderful drink before bed and we sipped slowly on that, talking and nd laughing late into the night on such a beautiful night, a very beautiful memory. And I was directed by a lady to Taylor Cream Sherry. The first sip took me back to that beautiful summer day and recollections of a very happy weekend of my life. We had toured Youngstown’s Art Museum and eaten out and just had a wonderful visit, no kids, no spouses, just best friends hanging out. Needless to say, that has not happened in a while, but it amazed me how beautifully one sip of awn unusual and sweet drink we shared brought all of that happy memory right back to the present, like it just happened and I am thankful! Oh how I love my best friend and how I love God for reminding me of such a great time of my life! Thank you, God!
There are moments you race through, moments you endure, moments you look forward to, moments you enjoyed. Then there are my new term “tangible moments”. These are moments that are not only locked into your experience but also locked in firmly in your heart. These moments you remember, relive, know, embrace, always have at the ready, you feel to your core like it just happened, smell the smells, see every detail vividly. I have a handful of these that help through tough spots. It is beautiful to relive a great moment. Do not neglect these tangible memories for they can help remember something invaluable to your makeup. How you view life is largely dependent upon these moments and your perception of something precious and sacred to you. And if you have none that come to mind, create one now. Any effort you put into it is worth that effort and more. And if some of these memories are ugly or vile or cause pain, seriously talk to God about them and ask Him to cover them with His touch and grace and relieve you of them. Then create a good lasting moment, like one in which you just spent time humbly with God who burned your horrible experiences and replaced them with peace. Win win. God is hood and He helps us remember good tangible memories to help us. Embrace them. But at the same time don’t always live there because there is much more life to be had and much more to do.
I have often, throughout life, been called crazy. Lovingly, of course. Lol I used to wonder why people called me this and have come to a few conclusions: 1. I have a touch of the wild in me. I like adventure, creativity, seeing beauty in new places, whether traveling or a new perspective on the familiar. I have a very vivid imagination, so vivid and so extremely visual that I can see what my mind dreams up as real and some dreams are as vivid to me in memory as the real. Also, part of the wild in me is extreme love of nature and worship while there, so much so that I really could live outdoors. Ahhh, great thought. 2. I am fearless. When dared, I would do it unless it involved harming someone or myself, but I knew my limits and instinct told me when to do and when not to. Part of being fearless is not fearing rejection if I say no to someone. I never had fear because I grew up in church and reading the Bible and praying and God said “Have no fear” so I obeyed. That simple. My faith is very very high so fear is not within the realm of my existence. And if I die, I go to heaven so why on earth would I be afraid of that either? In the fearless department, I also never cared what anyone except my very few closest friends thought of me. It is simply not a concern. 3. I am an Aquarian, which evidently has the weird, crazy quotient built in. But I am not into all that so I let it go at that and never delve deeper at all. So there you have it, memoirs of a crazy person to some and touch of the wild person to me. So, nice to meet you. Now you know. Lol I know my stuff is not usually so narcissistic but it sometimes helps appreciate someone’s writing when you see that person better. Knowing the author also assists with their credibility. 🙂
There is a warm embrace of comfort that God gives you when you curl up with a loving memory. Tomorrow is a difficult time because we will be honoring Daddy’s life. I can do that better than many because people pay very close attention to their beloved hero and Daddy was mine. He was the man in my life, the constant, the breath that gave me wings, my champion. He loved and defended me and my sister. He was loyal and supportive to my mom for 44 years. And my favorite memory of all time was me throwing up the ball and hitting it into the poll barn. Daddy got home from a long day in the field all tired and dirty. He came right up to me and gave me a dirty mud hug with a laugh as he did sometimes and grabbed the ball and pitched for me. He said I needed to make a bigger dent than that and showed me how to get more power in my swing. It wasn’t a long memory but it is deep and holds my heart loved. Memories are what we have when people are no longer with us. Making them should be a high priority for those we love for we, like my daddy, will one day drift off to heaven. Pictures help trigger memories, help remember. But some of my best memories happen in the moments cameras or phones are left behind, moments like daddy scooping me up to sit on the back of his combine or tractor as he plowed or harvested, the smell and turning of the earth, the consistent rumble of the well preserved engine by a master mechanic, the breathing in of the fresh air mixed with soil, and me proud as heck to be my Daddy’s little girl. I remember the pride I had when I used to visit Grandma Batterson and hear stories of Daddy’s taking good care of her all his life once he was old enough to. Her memories became mine, which is why there is importance in time with elders. Memories are little gifts from God to bring a great moment of love into the present and we can pass that into the future to our kids. The importance of memories cannot be understated and their value cannot be measured. And that is where my heart is right now. Make and share some memories as a loving act of service and encouragement. Never disappoints. 🙂
There are many sayings about how the past should be left alone E, should not be focused on, should not be given freelance because the now suffers. I understand that viewpoint. However, some of the best things in my life happened in the past, some long past and some recent past. These things go along with the other line of thinking to find hope and focus on this GS that are good and beautiful. So I don’t believe there is an either/or in life. I don’t believe we can pick one because really we live in both places. We need to live now but focus on the good and great and encouraging and uplifting, wherever that rests, either past or present. And I refuse to shake off those beautiful things that meant the most to me. They are worth preserving, worth cherishing, may never come again but at least you lived fully in those moments. So I will keep those, forever and forgive the wrongs and move forward in the now, realizing the importance of treasuring every good moment and living fully the life we have at our feet.