The End of a Memory

Today Taylor needed to return her books to Grace so she asked if I wanted to ride along (an excuse to get me out of the house, me thinks :p). Two classes left!!!  It was such a beautiful day we decided to hit the trails in Winona.

Taylor loves the campus of Grace College. She never lived there, because she was too cheap, uh, frugal(wise woman), but commuted for two and a half years. After being or being a passenger in four different car accidents last year, Grace allowed her to finish online. We were so grateful. Two of her profs went to bat for her before the board as she is the youngest to be allowed this opportunity. She is graduating with honors. She honored the profs that stuck their necks out for her.

Which bring us to memories…..

We lived in Warsaw when Taylor was 3. We would frequently drive to Winona Lake as they offered free summer swimming classes for kids. Taylor HATED the seaweed in the lake. First, they had all the 3-5 year olds wade in up to their waists. They would bend over and, on cue, stick just their faces in and blow bubbles. And then there was Taylor…. . All the other kids were blowing bubbles but Taylor was too busy swishing the seaweed from beneath the surface. Did she ever get around to sticking her face in? That would be a “no”.

Next was Ring Around the Rosie. They all joined hand (waste deep in water) glided around in the circle, then on “we all fall down!” they bent their knees and went under…except Taylor. All the other children disappeared, but not Taylor. After about three rounds she came running out of the water crying. So much for swimming lessons at the lake.

No worries. She took lessons later at a pool and now is a fish, but the swimming lessons at the lake still makes us both laugh.

Winona is a quiet little lake town with an island that has housing. They have the college and a few small restaurants and craftsmen types shops, soap, jewelry, etc., but it is slow paced. There are houses there with the original 1920’s clapboard siding, and craftsman detail. It’s fun to slow down and take in the history.

One of the houses had a front porch of field stone. Instantly I said,”Wow, that reminds me of the house dad grew up in in South Hill that was built by little people”……and that’s when it hit me: I will never again hear his stories. The stories he would repeat as if telling them for the first time. I would sit and smile. He would look at me upon completion and say, “I’ve already told you about that, haven’t I?” After 26+ years, ummmm, yes. I still loved hearing them. Sometimes I would even tell HIM stories of his past! “Hey, isn’t this like the time you and____ went to ____ and did____?” He’d smile and nod. I miss his stories already.

It dawned on me that his memory, his personal experiences, have stopped. I had to catch my breath. Only what he has told us will ever be repeated.

Ok, so I’m going to take a scripture out of context, but I think it’s applicable:

Joel 1:2-3 “Hear this, you elders;
    listen, all who live in the land.
Has anything like this ever happened in your days
    or in the days of your ancestors?
Tell it to your children,
    and let your children tell it to their children,
    and their children to the next generation.”

This was about a certain situation that was happening in the Bible, an invasion of locust, BUT if God wanted people to pass down warnings from generation to generation, wouldn’t he want the good to be passed down, as well?

Archie and I would talk for hours when we dated. We’d talk for hours (ok, so he probably did the majority of the talking, but I loved listening) after we got married. How much do you talk? Think about it: if you don’t tell your stories, no one will remember your past. No one can learn (like the warnings of the locusts) from the struggles you overcame. Your past is important, even if you don’t feel or think it is. The ones you love will miss either hearing it (again 🙂 ) or regret never hearing it at all. It’s up to you.

Sooooo…, tea, hot chocolate, or a soda? Who do you need to invite to share a cup of…..memories?




One thought on “The End of a Memory

  1. Oh my Tracey, I love this one. I love telling stories of my past. Especially ones with my mom and dad it helps me stay close to them I almost forget they are gone.
    Thanks again for your blog you are helping others as well as yourself
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family every day

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