I cried today. I don’t know why. I am not a crier. I can typically recall events in my life which led me to cry. But today, all it took was a story about a dream. A dream of simpler times, perhaps imaginary times.
Sean Dietrich, one of my favorite writers, took me inside his mind with his words. Suddenly I was standing with him in Floyd’s Barber shop. I walked to the jail with him while Barney sat at the desk singing into the phone and Otis slept the liquor off in his usual cell. I sat on the front porch with Aunt Bea and Opie shelling peas and I longed for the gentle voice of Andy, asking me if I wanted to go get some ice cream.
I’m going to be honest-I don’t have some deep insight here. It just hit me. That’s all. And then I traveled to the places of my memories as I sat on my Great Grandmother’s front porch making pretty pictures with my Spirograph and multicolored pen before I ran to hide under the dense growth of the weeping willow pretending the expansive area beneath the boughs to be my very own house. I shelled peas with Nunu and papaw. I sat in my musical rocking chair for no reason at all but to hear the notes each time I rocked. I played with my cousins at Granny Rosie’s and Papaw EdDoc’s as we begged Papaw to let us feed the piglet rejected by its mama. I ran from bulls, picked cotton, and ran across fields of stickers. I cried myself to sleep after Peanut beat me at checkers. I stood on a stump singing “Blue Suede Shoes” to an audience of cousins who each took their turn with Elvis songs. I sat on the side of a porch swinging my legs eating taffy while Papaw Robert talked with Mr. Spillers. I made jelly with Maw White and sopped up the yolk of eggs I had collected with homemade biscuits at Granny Rosie’s house.
Today, I am thankful for technology and progress. It is good. But it is also not so good. It is sort of a “best of times, worst of times” scenario playing out-as I suppose it has been throughout any era of history. I love online ordering and pay, Google Docs, and the miracles of modern medicine. I am thankful church’s can stream services, especially during these times.
But today I feel a sense of loss. So, I’m just going to wallow a bit in the memories of days gone before. I will not stay here. It is okay to look to the past in remembrance. It is not okay to stay there. Today is today. And I press on. I move forward. Yet I press forward with the memory of family. These moments in time formed me-made me who I am today. And I am grateful for each of you! I am blessed and I know it. I had the opportunity to know four grandparents and a great grandmother. Uncles and Aunts, cousins galore!
So, as I look to the future what can I take from my past? The gift of time.
I believe many memories are established in the heart because of time spent together. Spend time with your children, your grandchildren, parents and grandparents. And if you have them, your great-grandparents. And to our older generation I say, “You matter!”
Time is the one thing we can never get back once spent-so spend wisely!