#memories

GRANDMA'S JAR

When our grandma died as a family we were heartbroken, confused…and sad

to understand how to act…we looked to our mom and dad.

 

It’s never easy to say goodbye…so many feelings get in the way

We search through our emotions for soothing words to say.

 

Mom and Dad said Grandma was important to all of us…

how we all loved her smile, her warmth her glow…

They told us the fact we shared so much love with her…

is what makes her death hurt so…

 

It’s all the wonderful memories we made with her they said

that’s makes her death unfair….

all the good times we had leave us saddened 

for all the good times we’ll no longer share…

 

The places we’ll never visit with her…the happiness she’ll no longer bring

The cookies she’ll no longer bake…the songs she’ll no longer sing…

 

Then Emma, the oldest daughter, said, we will miss her I’m sure this is true

but won’t Grandma, once she gets up to heaven…won’t she be missing us too?

 

This is when Mom and Dad got an idea…they ran to the kitchen, opened a drawer

when they returned they set it in front of us…what would become known as Grandma’s jar.

 

They handed us some paper and pencils and said, “Write down what Grandma meant to you.”

We’ll put all your writings in this jar…so Grandma can remember them too.

 

“But how will she read it from heaven?” Emma asked.

Dad said, “Emma, at the end of the day

your grandma is pretty resourceful…

I’m sure she will find a way”.

 

“And we will leave this jar unopened,” Mom said, 

“so whenever something happens you’d like to share

just drop a note into the jar…Grandma will take if from there.”

 

And we wrote notes to Grandma from that moment on 

until the time came we were all grown

At that point as we left our house we were given a jar of our own…

 

I like to think Grandma is always watching…

but if she’s too busy up there among the stars…

If she wants to know what I’ve been up too…

 

all she has to do is look in her jar.


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I LOVE THAT WE HAVE MEMORIES

I love that we have memories

Even though as the years pass we may begin to doubt them

I cannot imagine…I cannot fathom…

what life would be without them.

 

On the river of life…when times are difficult…

or when we float along with ease

wherever the current takes us…

we keep adding memories.

 

And if life is like a river always moving ever forward without a break

I like to think of memories as a calm and peaceful lake…

 

A lake that no matter how many memories we add will never over fill

A quiet, tranquil place where time itself stands still.

 

Where we can choose to pause a while…

on the edge where the water meets the land

to get our feet wet for a moment and scoop a memory in our hands…

 

Or if we want…if we have the inclination…to wade up to our knees

or dive headfirst under the water and be awash in memories.

 

I love to swim the entire lake…it’s waters cool and clear

because I never know what memories will suddenly appear…

 

I don’t mind that the good and bad memories have mixed together along the way

because they have intermingled to make me who I am today.

 

I find I like to talk to my memories…to thank them when they were bright…

and even though the time has passed…to warn them…in hindsight…

 

Oh, I know that moment’s gone and I can never change that memory

which makes me wonder:
if I am talking to my memory…or is my memory talking to me?

 

Yes, I love that I have memories

Even though as the years pass I may begin to doubt them

for I cannot imagine…

I cannot fathom…

 

what my life would be without them.



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A HOUSE BEAUTIFUL

 

We are dog/house sitting for friends of ours while they are on a cruise

I’ve heard it said you don’t really know a person until you walk a mile in their shoes…

 

I imagine that is true…in their shoes you walk, you run…you roam

but I also think you get to know a person when you spend time in their home.

 

As I walk from room to room I realize how their house is their memoir

It’s filled with memories…with bits and pieces of who they were…and are.

 

I begin to notice how pictures of their family can be found in every room.

It’s like I’m in a museum…I stop…I look…then I resume…

 

I see old people, young people, babies…pictures spanning generations

all contributing to the story of one family’s creation.

 

I pause at every picture…and as I visit…one by one…

I suddenly realize how many families go into making one.

 

I see love portrayed in pictures of people I know and some who remain unnamed

captured for eternity inside a picture frame

 

Perhaps that’s why we have so many pictures…not only for us to easily see

but every time we pass…it awakens a memory. 

 

In every picture I can see joy…a smile on every face

proving quite definitively how happiness fills this place.

 

I’m sure there’s also been some sadness…some tragedy and fear….

Some people in these pictures I’m sure are gone…but their memories linger here.

 

And we are happy to be sitting in their house as off to other realms they roam…

Knowing not only do they have a beautiful house…they have a beautiful home.

 

 

 

(P.S.   Another reason we’re glad to be in charge as they enjoy their birthday cruise….

 

They left a bunch of unlocked cabinets…and they’re all filled with booze!)


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MEMORIES

MEMORIES

 

Have you ever wondered why we have a memory…the ability to rapidly recall

events that have happened in our life…events significant and small?

 

Perhaps it is the ability to create and recall memories that make a happy life:

Like spending three days in the cabin with our nephew and his wife

 

Sitting for hours on our porch bouncing memories off each other…

remembering Deborah’s mom and dad…recalling stories of Rick’s mother.

 

Eating slices of pie like they were candy…sharing sunsets you can’t put into words

Hours on the porch together….watching hummingbirds.

 

Showing Rick and Laura a different side of Asheville…one they never knew.

Taking time along the way to stop and enjoy the view.

 

Walking in and out of stores…in no hurry…no need for speed

Shopping for nothing in particular yet finding everything we need.

 

Being just as happy eating deep fried deviled eggs at a restaurant…

with the same contentment in our bellies

as sharing sandwiches on the porch for dinner

made with peanut butter mixed with jelly.

 

Sitting around a campfire with still so much to talk about

sharing more stories and more laughter until the fire burned out.

 

To continue sitting by the embers as into the darkness we all blend

Holding on a little longer…to a moment we don’t want to end.

 

Waving as they drive away this morning…but happily aware

that memories of these days together still linger in the air.

 

Perhaps that’s why we were created with a memory

to have a place within our heart, our soul, our brain

where, after a moment has come and gone,

the memory remains. 

 

So when we need a moment of contentment in the future

all we need do is pause a little while

and take moment to remember

a moment to close our eyes…

 

and smile.



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HANGING UPSIDE DOWN

 

They grew up close together…sharing laughter…sharing frowns

playing in their backyards…hanging upside-down.

 

The world was oh so different then, as they hung so effortlessly

It was a simpler, uncomplicated time…more innocent and free.

 

A time when all that children needed to do was laugh and sing and play

when hanging upside down…unimpeded…they would sway.

 

For they were making memories…no future memory would surpass

As they hung there…upside down…or ran barefoot in the grass.

 

And as they look back at this picture now…it’s those memories they see

awakening from a place where they shall always be…

 

And when thy close their eyes to remember…that certain time…that certain year

sometimes it brings a smile…sometimes it brings a tear

 

Because they realize how lucky they are 

to have shared a life time of laughter

and of frowns…

from a friendship that began so man-years ago

while hanging upside down.



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ANOTHER SOMEBODY

Somebody died today…it’s part of life’s ebb and flow

but what makes this day so different is…this somebody was somebody I know.

 

She had a full life, my somebody…filled with many highs and some lows…

but Death is unsympathetic…when it comes our time to go.

 

Yet how lucky we are has humans… 

for although in death…of her presence we’re deprived

the myriad of memories we created…in a way keeps her alive…

 

And that’s where our sadness originates…

That’s why we feel so bereft…

not from all those memories we created together 

but that those memories are all I have left.

 

We know Death has taken her from us…but in Death there is a plus

for Death has left her memories behind…Death can’t take those away from us.

 

When we want to, when we have the urge…we can visit her a while

Just by closing our eyes and remembering…

her voice, 

her eyes…

her smile…

 

And for a moment in our silence…as more and more memories arrive

it’s as if she never left us…as if she’s still alive

 

And when our eyes reopen

we smile remembering all the memories we’ve sewn

and we feel blessed 

she was a somebody we were lucky enough to have known. 

 

Which gives us all hope for the time when Death comes too our door

as part of life’s ebb and flow

That we, too, will have been lucky enough

 

to be somebody…somebody knows.


REMEMBER WHEN

There is an excitement when we get together with family and friends

nothing can compare…

with the joy seen on our faces 

with the laughter that fills the air.

 

One of the things I like most is when we’re all sitting around…and then

someone begins a conversation with the words…’remember when’…

 

As they show up in a whisper…or enter on a shout

they knock on a door within our heart and invite our memories out.

 

Because following every ‘remember when’….everyone sitting there 

will add their own perspective to a memory we share.

 

And before you know it ‘remember when’s’ are tossed out like beads in a parade

we raise our hands and catch them as they soar

we smile as we drape them ‘round our necks 

and eagerly wait for more. 

 

I suppose we don’t think about it much…

how lucky is the family…who

have made a multitude of memories that they can rummage through…

 

on an evening when they come together…around a table…in a den

and for a while share some smiles…

and some laughter…

as they remember when…

 

And when the house is empty…

enveloped in silence once again

we wonder 

at what point…

this night…

will become it’s own

 

‘remember when’.


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THE SWING DOWN BY THE LAKE

She spent the springtime of her life there…

Whenever she had a break 

she’d run down to her swing

in her tree down by the lake.

 

She still remembers how it felt

suspended from her tree

swaying back and forth 

so innocent and free…

 

She returns now after years away

still remembering the bond they shared

and is excited to find her cherished swing

patiently waiting there…

 

She smiles, closes her eyes

and once again is suspended from her tree

swaying back and forth

so innocent and free…

 

Happy to reunite.

Happy once again whenever she has a break

to spend the autumn of her life 

 

in her swing down by the lake


WALKING BACK IN TIME

On our morning walk the other day as we headed to the shore

we passed a house I am certain we’ve passed a thousand times before

 

But that day my morning routine didn’t follow its usual paradigm

I found myself as we neared the house…walking back in time.

 

I remember long ago a ‘For Sale’ sign…standing proudly on this lawn

I remember walking by one day and the ‘For Sale’ sign was gone.

 

I remember the young couple who bought this house

their two cars in this driveway…how their happiness filled the air

I remember one year later…only one car parking there.

 

I remember the black Labrador who lived here…

We would pet him…see his toys strewn upon the lawn

each year he seemed to walk a little slower

then one day…he was gone…

 

I remember a new ‘For Sale’ sign…

Going up…coming down…and thinking…isn’t it strange…

how as we’ve walked by this house each day…lives have rearranged?

 

And as we returned to our house I had to smile at all the changes we have seen

from our first days together…to this moment…and all those moments in between.

 

We’ve been blessed with many moments…moments we adore

Children…grandchildren…friends and pets…have all walked through our door.

 

And though the house isn’t as crowded as it once was…

time flows steadily…ever fast

the silent, quiet moments still mix with echoes of the past.

 

There will come a day I imagine when the two of us will be gone

and there will be a for sale sign standing proudly on our lawn…

 

I hope when that day comes another couple will shift their normal paradigm

 

pause a moment in the present…and enjoy a walk back into time. 


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