I had the wonderful experience of celebrating my son’s birthday in a special kind of way this year. He had taken an amazing trip to parts of Europe and I flew to NYC to meet him on his return trip. We spent the evening celebrating his special day with family. It is so nice to celebrate a birthday with people all around that love you.
The next day we took a little ‘walk down memory lane’ and visited special places in his early life. We went to the hospital where he was born, visited the tiny little carriage house where we lived until he was about six months old, went to his elementary school and even went to get a pizza from a special restaurant that we had always loved.
Some things had changed drastically, but some things were almost exactly the same. And some things for me were exactly the same….but for my son (who had experienced them at a very young age) found them shockingly different. His memory of a house way down the lane was actually just a few hundred feet across the street. A hill that he had remembered to be almost insurmountable as he learned to ride his bike was actually just a small hump in the road.
Isn’t it funny how our brain takes a picture of something that we think will never change? We live with that memory for a long time and would swear that we knew every little detail of the image. But….then we see it years later and it is so awkward and different from the memory we had been recalling over and over. It makes me want to take a picture of every thing I see, so that I can keep referring to it and keeping the vision accurate in my mind.
I think it is different with people we love and care about though. We spend time with someone and somehow we connect to more of what is inside them rather than what is on the surface. We may not see them for a very long time; but yet when we do reunite, it seems like nothing has changed and we have somehow been close to them the whole time. We still laugh at the same silly things and remember many insignificant events and know every detail of its happening. After a while, we don’t even register that this person’s face is sometimes drawn with lines of age or their hair is far from the original color of their youth. We just ‘see’ the person we remembered long ago. Isn’t it interesting how our heart “captures” pictures that our brain doesn’t seem to be able to recall?!!
There are lots of happenings that I don’t remember about my son’s early years, but yet I can recall with great detail the first moment of seeing his face. I can remember his sweet smell and the feel of his pudgy body. I can remember sitting alone with him the first night in the hospital nursery and rocking him quietly as he slept. I can remember feeling the fear that I wouldn’t be a good enough Mom or the overwhelming quantity of things that I needed to learn in order to take good care of him. I can also remember the joy and love I felt for this tiny little being and how I promised him that night that I would always do my very best to protect him and teach him and help him grow. Yes, my heart captured a very clear picture that first birthday night…..the sweet love of my life was born!
I hope you have a few of these joyful recalls in your life.
Take some time to just sit and let your mind return to some of those heartfelt moments……there is no better medicine!
When you let yourself ‘re-live’ some of those special times in your life,
it feels like you are floating on clouds and there is nothing that is wrong or negative in this world.
And be sure to create some new memories too.
Don’t let yourself get caught up in all the details of an event, but rather just focus on the people that you are with at the moment.
Be sure to let your heart take a snapshot!
In fact….do it today.
It’s Monday….a good day to start.