lest thou forget

Dear Ruthi,

It is funny, the things we remember. I can’t help but believe remembering is what we might call (especially this Sunday) a spiritual practice. Something to bring intention to. What I choose to remember shapes my day, my relationships, my mood, my future, my perspective.

I’m reminded of this post.

remembering copy

That blog is full of my moments to treasure. Pleasant and painful. Treasured just the same. I regret not finding a way of keeping it up these past few years as a record, a scrapbook, a body of work – the stories of our lives. It’s something to help me remember, as I stare down a future that might cause me to forget.

One fall many years ago, I asked Avery what some of her summer highlights were. I was shocked when the first thing she mentioned was going wildflower picking with me at Mary Lake. That moment wasn’t even on my radar and would likely have been lost to the void had she not reminded me of that time together and caused me to refile it as sacred.

It wasn’t something we had planned. We didn’t spend a lot of time on it. The arrangement wasn’t particularly beautiful. But there it sat. Avery’s chosen moment. It troubles me that I don’t get to choose those moments for my kids – the ones they remember. There are so many I hope they forget. All the failures. All the momster moments.

Perhaps I’m worried because I tend to remember the pain, hurts and disappointments myself – even though they be small. There is one in particular. I have no idea how young I was, but I was quite little. My dad was having a rest on the couch and in a playful spirit I swung my teddybear at him. With bad luck the bear’s hard plastic eye hit my dad in the face and hurt him. He yelled in his booming voice “Stupid!” My vision instantly blurred with tears. Then, he quickly said with a scowl, “The trust hurts doesn’t it!” Do you put a question mark when it’s rhetorical?

The first was a hurtful thing to say. The second was mean. I don’t remember if he put a “You’re” in front of “stupid,” but to this day, it’s how I feel his words. To this day, it still hurts. The thing is, he wasn’t a mean man and we loved each other very much. Although I exasperated the crap out of him, I don’t believe he thought I was stupid. Yet that word shines like a blue core memory orb from “Inside Out.” I don’t know how to swap it out with a different one. And I’m terrified of being responsible for big blue orbs in any of my kids.

I loved reading your words about how your parents poured into your life. You painted with a broad and generous stroke a beautiful portrait. Though you may have intended it as more of a landscape. I hope each of my children can find it in themselves and our experiences that sort of generosity, that kind of gratitude. I hope they can always try to find the love. Because it is there. Always. In abundance. With intention.

Thank you for your words of love today. They were comforting to come home to after attending a shower where Stupid hung like an obvious banner around my neck. I’m not sure whether I suffered from an unusual excess of the blabbles or just an acute sharpness in recognizing my social ineptitude, but my oh my, I should have just kept quiet.

Thank you also for your words this morning, those ones you spoke when you would have rather just kept quiet. I’m so glad and grateful you shared. It was needed. It was balance. It was poetry. I loved it, them, and you.

With love and gratitude,

Jules

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