Saturday, July 23, 2016

TToT: Things I Remember

Sharing more photos of the Glockenspiel in Marienplatz, Munich, Germany.  Memories of this place will always be among my favorite.

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 about what we saw there a couple summers back.  Unfortunately, mere hours before we left for the Canyon, 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 couldn't swear to it in a court of law.  I could say with certainty that there is a bench up top that provides a great perch for 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 DaVinci's The 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 me crowded around 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 waiting for my soon-to-be husband to finish college.  I remember sitting at the dining room table with my dad, him telling me it means so much to your mom having you here in these months before you get married.

I remember marrying that young man and being so choked up I couldn't say my vows.  

I remember waiting for a baby for so long, and finally holding a test in my hand that said she was on the way.  I remember the sheer panic of worrying 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 was really mine.  I remember what it is like to feel the blossom of love unfold and grow inside your heart instantaneously.  

I remember nursing another baby and being startled by big brown eyes instead of green gazing back at me.  I remember those same brown eyes sitting beside me 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.

Originally published Feb. 2016.  I don't have photos of all the places that have recently experienced violence, but I did have these pictures from Munich.  Thinking of all who have been touched by senseless brutality as of late.  Hoping for better.


  1. These memories are rich; in all the ways that matter. Memory is, indeed, a tricky, slippery thing and mysterious to me how some things remain and some evade us.

    1. I am always fascinated to discover that I have completely forgotten something only to have a friend remind me and have the memory resurface. That experience has sort of a magical quality to it.

  2. OK, so just about anything brings me to tears these days, but this morning it is these sweet memories. Somehow, that orange soda is one of the most poignant. Although the picture of you and your dad sitting at that table is probably the one that got me the most.

    1. Both of those memories are linked to Dad in my mind. He had brought the orange soda home to me. And the kitchen---sure dad, it is mom who loves having me home. Gotcha, wink wink! I was blessed to be well loved by both of them. Makes all the difference!


Penny for your thoughts.