Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.–L.M. Montgomery
I don’t remember the sound of my father’s voice. I’m not sure, really, what to make of that. I remember his words. I remember the way he stole our caramel frosting off the spice cake when we weren’t looking. I remember the twinkle in his eye. But I cannot remember his voice. It is only the sure knowledge I have that I will see him again that makes this loss somewhat bearable.
I keep a voicemail or two from my mother still on my phone. One of them, I haven’t even listened to yet. Because I called her back. Back when I could call her back. I can’t bear to listen to them yet. Even though they are over 2 years old. I don’t know when or if I will be able to. But I know that they are there. And I won’t forget.
I remember when my kids were little. It didn’t matter how messy the chaos that was my house or my life. It didn’t matter how tired I was. But there was always a moment at the end of each day when I would snuggle them before bed and nestle my nose in the top of their tow-topped heads, close my eyes, and breathe deeply, willing the moment to sear itself in my memory, willing myself to never forget their smell, their sound, their energy. Those moments of closeness now too far past, but which I still keep in my memory. Even know I lure the very curious, active James into my lap on the pretense of reading a story, but mostly to snatch a near-still moment in which to nuzzle his head with my nose and breathe him in, sealing up the memory while I can.
There is one other (you see–I still have trouble following the rules and have failed at limiting myself just to one) ? of my mortal experience that I desperately try to sear into my heart in the hopes of never forgetting. The warmth of the sun on my face and my arms, breeze in my hair, big skies in my view and whatever nature has to offer–mountains, streams, fields, or farmlands– lit by that perfect light of early morning or just before sunset–grounding me to the earth. These are the moments I want to hold on to. In which I tell myself that whatever turmoil or worry is in my head, whatever anguish or heartbreak or loss is in my heart, it was worth it to come to earth just to experience this moment. This reminder that God created this beautiful world–a world so beautiful it almost hurts to take it in–for me.