Memories. We have so many of them. Good memories. Bad Memories. Some memories we would like to forget while others get us out the bed in the morning.
As I have gotten older, memories seem to dictate much of my life. Memories will cause me quickly to pick up the phone to dial out or receive or not answer it at all. Yes, that is not always fair, but it is honest (Not directed at any person.) Memories will lift me up when the news is not so great and often make me think twice about decisions I need to make. Perhaps memories are a part of discernment which gets better with time. Being alone in the city, sometimes memories are all I have.
Recently, I went to my high school reunion and also visited my grandmother while I was home for the weekend. A weekend full of memories to be shared and made. My class reunion was great. I enjoyed seeing old friends and missed those not able to attend. My classmates and I mostly asked one another about other classmates and shared some funny times from back in the day. Seeing my classmates reminded me of whom I was then and who I am now. There is not too much difference, but life can sometimes take the personality out of you and give you an identity of its own. That is a constant battle that only the Lord can arm you with His grace and mercy to stay true to yourself. Nevertheless, I missed my classmates and I am sure the feeling was mutual. After so many years, coming home to unconditional love still available from my classmates, friends and family makes me feel like I can conquer the world.
Visiting my grandmother took on a somber tone in my heart. She is 93 years old with Alzheimer’s. When I looked at her, I wanted her to say hello to me and give me a hug. I smiled anyway, because I knew she would have if she could. I kissed her on her forehead and tried to get her to speak to me in her own feisty way, but she laid there relaxed and in her own world. I dared not disturb her peace. Instead I sat in the chair next to her and looked at all the pictures in the living room. Carrying on a conversation with her care giver while looking at the pictures, I took in all the memories of times I spent in my grandmother’s house. So many thoughts in so little time. I occasionally looked at my grandmother and felt a smile and a frown battling for space. I do not know who won. Grandma did share her memories for years before and during her illness. Memories are made to be shared. The best gift she ever gave me was her memories. Well maybe the ability to take no mess, but that honor may belong with all the women in the family.
There is a line in the movie called “The Family that Preys” where Kathy Bates’ character, Charlotte Cartwright says,”Your memory card is full.” She is sitting on the bed having her own reality check that she has Alzheimer’s disease. She gets upset and Alfre Woodard’s character, Alice doesn’t understand why she is so upset. Before the line in the movie, Charlotte and Alice go on a cross-country trip taking pictures everywhere they go to having the time of their lives. As the trip ends, the memory card is full. In Charlotte’s mind, this is all that is left. A full memory card. No more memories can be put on it.
The Lord gives His gift of time to experience and enjoy life. He gives us the ability to have and share memories that will last a lifetime. In each moment of time we have, we are making memories happen. Will you look back at your memories and keep your peace knowing you enjoyed so much of your life? Will you hold a private pity party and say I wished things were different? Will you think about what your memory card holds and decide, is it full or do I still have some memories to create? I already know the answer!
“We cannot change our memories, but we can change their meaning and the power they have over us.” — David Seamands
“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.”–Matthew Barrie
“But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren. Deuteronomy 4:9