We all have memories. Sometimes we want to bring these memories to the forefront of our thoughts, and other times they are best suited tucked away in the back of our minds. Some of these memories are fond and happy, but honestly, some of these memories are sad or scary. I will be the first to admit that not all of my memories are happy and great. However, all of the pictures together paint a mosaic of who we are and who our loved ones were.
What’s more, they make up who we are today. Without all of the memories, we lose a part of ourselves. This part of ourselves that includes our memories may be the most significant part we have. I admit there are several memories that I would prefer to tuck away and never meet again. That is just not possible. Rightfully so, these memories need to be a part of my life. I do, however, recommend concentrating on the good memories. Keep the happy memories close and alive inside us.
Recently, I had to face a chore that I was dreading. I knew I had to put up the Christmas tree. I really was not looking forward to it. It would be a chore for the dogs and me. I mustered up the confidence and got the tree pulled out and the boxes of decorations. The dogs were much more excited than I was. I cannot say for sure if they knew why they were so excited, but their enthusiasm was contagious. Before long, they ran around the tree, helping in their own k9 way, and I was pulling out ordainments. I started to get a smile. The reason for the smile was I would remember where so many of these ordainments came from. My wife had ordainments made with the kid’s names; she had ordainments made with graduations and baptisms. I remembered all these times and more. At the time, I did not think these ordainments were such a big deal. Now, they are a huge deal.
One ordainment brought a special smile and tear to my eye. My wife’s grandparents had passed down a fish ordainment. Admittedly, it is a hideous fish. It is old chipped, faded, and as frail as paper. Nonetheless, every year I would hurry and find the fish first and try to hang it on the front of the tree in all its glory.
Moreover, every year I would receive a scolding because I knew that the fish needed to be hung but only in the back of the tree. Sure, it’s a tradition that the fish be hung, but it was our tradition that I try to hang it out front, and I would get a scolding. That was a memory that I thought I had tucked away. However, without warning, that memory came rushing back. I chuckled and cried all at once.
I have discovered that memories are like glitter. I say this because if you ever take a handful of glitter and throw it into the air, you can try to clean it all up, but you never will get it all. You will find glitter in places you never imagined, and for years to come. It is like my memory of the fish. I was not looking for that memory. I also thought I had the Christmas trees’ memories cleaned up and put where they go, but once the fish came out, it was like glitter. The memory was there without warning, shinning, and sparkling to the extent that was unmissable. It caught me off guard, and I knew I had a choice. I could enjoy the memory like glitter, let it shimmer and shine and be pleasing, or I could think of it as something else I missed that needs swept up. I chose to enjoy it. Don’t store your memories away. Instead, think of them as a shiny spot or something messy; you feel a need to clean up.
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