My Thoughtful Wednesday post last week had a quote in it about memories. It stemmed from the text message I got from my brother-in-law saying that my nephew just lost his first tooth. I was nostalgic and a little saddened because my sister was not there for that first major rite of passage for her son.
A lot of memories swirled in my head for the rest of the week and throughout the weekend. All of them happy and some downright hilarious.
I recalled being a child, growing up on our farm. My sister and I would put on shows on the hay trailers. We would play pretend school in the corn crib. The propane tank was our horse with lightening speed. The hole in the screen door was our bank window through which we passed Monopoly money for the store we held near the silos.
I remembered my teen years (the good parts!). My brother, sister and I would save our money and pool it together. My parents would go out-of-town and we would order Little Caesar’s and rent movies. We’d stay up late watching movies and eat pizza and bread sticks all weekend long.
I thought about the first apartment my honey and I had my junior year in college. It was a tiny 1 bedroom in a 4 apartment complex. We shared a basement with the other tenants. On either side of our apartment lived 2 sisters. One of them would walk down the stairs from her apartment, across the basement and up the stairs to her sister’s apartment. They were old, so they yelled a lot. One morning, very early in the morning, they started to argue. We heard one of them scream “Don’t you push me down the stairs!” and then a loud thud followed. We were terrified to go open our door to the basement and look. Only moments later we heard them screaming at each other again. They were yelling about one not being able to kill the other. We just laid in bed and laughed till we cried.
I remembered my first teaching job at Head Start. I worked so hard to get through to this awesome little boy. He had lived a really hard life in his short 5 years. He was a tough kid and wanted everyone to know it. It was so heartwarming when, by the end of the school year, he was excited to go home with a “good behavior report” from Ms. Heather. He even hugged me on the last day of school.
I recalled moving to Ohio and starting the job that I’m in today. The move itself was memorable. We caravaned from Illinois to Ohio. My poor honey was stuck in her car with the howling cat for 5+ hours while I got the snoring dog in mine! My first day on the job I was terrified. I was pretty much in that state for about 6-8 months. So much to learn! Then I got into the swing of things. I don’t remember much from that first 6 months but there have been so many great memories since then and so many special families that will live in my heart forever.
I thought about holding each of my babies. While I said goodbye to 3 of them I do not look upon that as a sad memory. They are my angels and without that I wouldn’t have those two crazy boys you see at the top of this page. And, there is no more precious memory than holding a baby and knowing you belong to him or her.
I thought again about my sister and that awesome Saturday we had when she was in the hospital. We laughed and cried and told all the stories from our childhoods. We confessed sins to our mom. We shared sister secrets for the last time. It was such a beautiful day.
I looked back on 36 amazing years on this Earth. Sure, the crap has been there. We all have it. The good has far outweighed the bad. And, the bad has helped shape me into the person I am today.
So, I dwell on the good. I cry the happy tears. I laugh with a twinkle in my eye. It truly is the only way to live.