Memories are funny things. Occasionally, I try really hard to remember the details of those great moments in my life and come up short which always leaves me feeling a little sad. My wedding day? A blur..the little parts I do remember are insignificant, actually. I remember the way the Presbyterian preacher pronounced my new last name ~ he rolled his r’s and I was taken aback because prior to that cultural pronunciation, he had a thick country drawl. Suddenly, he was speaking like he wasn’t from Alabama after all. It was kind of strange.
And I remember coming back to my apartment after the afternoon ceremony, kicking off the heaviness of my gown and sitting around my livingroom with friends. I remember having my face kissed off by people I had never seen before or since. I remember my dad and I sitting in the limo outside of the church prior to the ceremony and he was drinking vodka and coke. Gross….guess he was more than a little nervous…or maybe relieved at handing me over to a 20 year old college student with great promise. I don’t remember the vows or the wedding cake. Sadly, the day wasn’t all that momentous and the gravity of vows made before God was foreign to me. It was more of a ritual ~ the next step after being with someone for over 2 years. Not that I didn’t want to be married. I did. I knew he was the one for me even in my naivete. But I don’t remember gazing into his eyes as we stood at the altar.
And the births of my children. It’s true that you forget the gut wrenching pain as soon as they hand over the pink little bundle of joys. Well, in Nick’s case, he was a yellow bundle of joy ~ I do remember that much. He had jaundice, apparently, and I was heartbroken when they had to take him to the nursery to slide him under the bilirubin lights (we affectionately refer to it as the EZ Bake Oven). I also recall the blood pressure cuff cutting off my circulation and in my exhausted state, I knew enough to rip it off my arm and launch it across the room. That got the doctors attention! I remember thinking, numbed with the assistance of an epidural for Devon’s birth, “What’s the fuss about? This isn’t so bad.” I also remember a few years later, heroic in my declaration for a drug free birth with Nick, “This must be what hell is like.”
But I wish I remembered it all. I wish I could remember every moment of the good things that changed my life.
But if we had that ability, we’d also remember every moment of the terrible things that change our life and I know, for a fact, that I don’t want that. God has designed it in such a way that our memories fade and so the awful items that brought us the most pain are eventually diminished to something that seems distant and vague. And that’s a blessing.
Today, I’m thankful that He is trying to weaken my memory of terrible hurts. Naturally, I wish He’d work a little faster in that department and I wouldn’t be at all against a complete erasure of certain days. But that’s not how memories work, is it? There’s a little of the good and little of the bad and we package it all up and take it with us through our days. It’s what makes us who we are.
So I have to remember to take the bad and pack it tightly underneath the good. If I just focus on the positives, maybe those memories that are just below will lose their grasp on me. Maybe their details and particulars will dissolve into nothing more than dust.
Well, that’s the hope anyway.