Have you ever found a letter or a note that has been tucked away for years? You unfold it, read it and realize it is the very thing you need to hear. The words written years before reach out to you and touch that part of you that is aching.
That happened to me today. I found a note I had written almost seven years ago. The lesson my son and grandson taught me that day was exactly what I needed to hear this weekend as I approach an anniversary of poignant and sad day.
I know I am not the only one who has experienced sad days. Like me, maybe you watch the calendar and think it is the anniversary of this or that loss or an immense change in your life. Maybe it is the birthday of someone who died or the last time you had Christmas together. Maybe it is the day you were hired to a a great job you no longer do or a marathon you entered when you legs were stronger.
The approaching day may trigger memories and sorrow or poignant joy for you. Yet while your feelings are understandable, over time you begin to yearn for a sense of relief and healing.
You want to live again.
My son Ryan had a suggestion.
I am writing this on a beautiful Sunday, the last day of February. My grandson Davide told me before he left to go back to Portland that it had been a great day. I am not sure what his exact definition of a great day is, but I suspect it includes being able to play outdoors and to be with his dad.
I could tell by the look on Davie’s face that he had created some wonderful memories today. So did I. I walked on my land and helped my son Ryan plant a strawberry bed. I painted a picture and ate a great salad with tangy cheese. I hiked down to the creek and listened to the crickets and the sound of water dancing over the rocks.
My son Ryan told me awhile ago about a watershed moment in his life during his senior year. Folks had told him about how their high school years were the best times of their lives. He said he had this sort of out of body experience or awakening. He realized that at that very moment he was making his memories for the future.
Everything he was doing, everything he chose to do would one day be a memory for him. He was responsible, he realized, for the memories he would have in later years.
Ryan said he didn’t mean that he did everything perfectly from then on. There were times that he made choices and did things he looks back on with some regret. But he understood that his memories were his responsibility.
Ryan told me it affected how he functioned in life from that point on. It affected how he looked at what he did and even now how he looks at life. He’s made an effort over the last three years, he said, especially since his dad died, to find enjoyment in everything he does.
Today I did things that will create good memories for the future for February 28. Each time I experience February 28 I am adding to the memories of this day over the years. The sad things that might have happened on this date will be be overshadowed by all the good things that have occurred throughout my life on this date.
(c)shaun brink 2015
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