Have you heard that song: Every time I hear that song, I go back…?
It’s surprising to me how little it takes to bring back a flood of memories…A song, a letter, a souvenir…or a picture.
I was clicking around the internet, came across a musician friend…I clicked into his MySpace page, and then clicked into the profile of another friend, then another, then another….clicking away and then all of a sudden, there was the ex-husband.
It’s been a long time since I saw his face.
He looked happy. REALLY happy….which made me REALLY happy.
Some part of me carries around the deep regret that I hurt him, that I caused him pain. Never mind who deserved what and what reasons we each can come up with to justify our behavior back then…I still deeply regret being the cause of his pain.
Amanda Marshall has a song called “Beautiful Goodbye” that makes me think about all the things I could have said, should have said, but never did.
When I think about my life, I think about it in sections. There is a conservative, tentative period; an exploring, seeking, edge-of crazy period; a really crazy, wild period; another seeking period that brought me back to Jesus; and then now…a period of family and stability. Between the periods there are transitions, some of them difficult, some of them seamless.
BUT as I look back, I realize that I have dramatically changed as a person since that first period, that first time I was aware of myself and who I was and who I wanted to be...and I realize most of that change is by the Grace of God. If I had never searched for that completeness and never had a man fail to fill that hole and never had friends who hurt me, I never would have gone to church and I never would have gotten to know Jesus. I'm so certainly a better person for the hurt, for those other lives...
But back to the flood…seeing a face, one small picture, from one click, on one day, in one moment…and suddenly I’m flooded with memories, both happy and sad.
Memories like nervous dates, Disneyland, long drives for bagels, my first view of the ocean, frat parties, all-nighters to study, country line dancing, tiny apartments, a Honda Civic hatchback, singing in a stadium, Hollywood walk of fame, turn-around trips to Vegas, lunches at the 7-11, Leadville, and the list goes on and on...and not at a trickle - at a deluge.
It was pleasantly paralyzing, remembering things, in no particular order, and breathing…just remembering and breathing. With no judgments really, just a realization that I’ve lived a happy life, saying a prayer for those who deserved better from me and moving on to the next memory.
It was truly delicious…truly a feeling of making peace with myself over then…all of then…
And, much to my surprise, I thought of my own parents.
I have several lives about which my son will never know a thing…he will never know his rock-n-roll mama, or the college girl who had never been away from home, or the “first” husband. He will see things – like tattoos and pictures, souvenirs and song books – but will never know who that person was…because she has grown and changed so much.
There is certainly a piece of that girl in here, but this woman is so very different from that girl. And I wondered what I don’t know about my parents…what their life was like before they met each other, before we came along, what happened when we were not around. It’s an interesting thing to ponder…who your parents really are.
So, why the blog post about an ex-husband’s picture , who my parents were once-upon-a-time and my random memories?
Because I don’t think we slow down enough in our lives to take stock, to count our blessings, to remember why we are here and who wwe wish we could maybe see again one last time, to enjoy the coffee and the view, to just breathe out over pleasant memories and let go of painful regrets.
It’s been a rough few weeks in our country…and it looks as though it will get worse before it gets better…but the stock market is not what life is about. Before we hurry up and get on with our day, work, work, work, drive ourselves to worry and distraction, before we spend one moment looking forward and trying desperately to control what is coming, we should look back and remember.
We should spend some time thinking about what we remember and checking our agenda today against what was meaningful enough to get space in our hearts back then.
And then we should re-arrange the agenda today to focus some time on the meaningful stuff…on the get-to’s instead of the have-to’s. We should re-arrange our lives to put priorities in a different order and make the people we love right here, right now important enough to get the best we have to offer.
And we should say what we mean to say before the moment has passed and its gone to us forever.
We are but vapor...
Happy, peaceful day everyone!