I woke this morning with a certain wistfulness. I am overcome by a feeling that comes from wondering why it is so hard for me to remember and why I focus on the negative memories so often.
Truth, I have very few memories of my childhood and later years. For whatever reason they are simply gone. I honestly don’t know why I have lost them, whether I blocked them or they are simply lost because of my feeble brain.
Once in a while I have a memory, that floods in and I should write it down.
Today I am trying to remember good things about my parents.
- My mother is a great cook, a natural and she used to love to bake or cook for us. We never had a bad meal in her kitchen. She had a heart full of welcoming hospitality.
- I once sat at the kitchen table with my friend Heather, laughing over some shared experience. My father looked up and said how much I reminded him of his mom in that moment. This was in high school.
- My parents always chose their churches for us kids, to ensure that we went to a church with a thriving youth group even if it meant that they didn’t necessarily love the doctrine or musical styles.
- In high school or earlier, I worked for my dad in his office doing “lick, stick and stuff” type assignments. One day he came up to me while I was reading a novel, at my desk, and there he gave me the “work ethic” talk that has stuck with me for the rest of my life. I will never forget it. If you accomplish your work in less time than expected, ALWAYS look for or ask for more. That unforgettable talk made me the 110% person that I am today.
- My mom is a fount of knowledge about nutrition, health, plants, and many other topics. She’s brilliant, really.
- My father never met a stranger. He believed that every conversation could be “divinely inspired” and went through his life meeting the most incredible, influential people (unknown to him until later) and the simple, everyday persons that interested and challenged him with each encounter. He would strike up a conversation with anyone and show genuine interest, compassion and Christ’s love to each one. I am hard core shy and truly disinterested in meeting strangers. He would try to teach me “conversational starters” (From Dale Carnegie) but I must say I wasn’t the best student.
- My father has no memory of being told he was loved by his parents as he was growing up. He was almost ritualistic about coming to each one of us at the beginning or end of the day, with a hug and a word, some expression of love (not always the words “I love you” but always the intent). I carry that tradition on now with my own children. I hope the words don’t lose their meaning I say them so much. But I never want them to be able to say “I’m not sure my parents loved me.”
That is all I have for now… seven strong memories to carry with me today.