Savoring the Memories

March 17, 2012

Memories.  After a while, that’s all you have left—of grandparents, parents, even siblings, perhaps friends. Sure, you may have some memorabilia, an heirloom, photographs, or other token remembrance of the person, but it’s the memories, not the objects, that are most precious.

 We “make” memories by doing things with our children, family and friends. We physically preserve social memories in many ways: in photographs, scrapbooks, videos, movies, trinkets, souvenirs.

One of my favorite memories is, as a small child,visiting my maternal grandparents  in western New York and “helping” my grandmother make fresh fruit pies. Myassistance actually consisted of sitting on a tall blue wooden stool beside her, talking with her, listening to her wisdom, watching  her deft hands craft her jewels, and waiting for the leftover pie crust to be handed over to me so I could make my own over-kneaded, thrice-rolled-out cinnamon and sugar piecrust-cookie. Oddly enough, I never learned to make great pies from scratch like my grandmother did, but I still love the cinnamon and sugar crust.

I was almost six years of age when we moved to sunny Florida, and we lived in an old frame duplex right on old U.S. #1 in Sharpes while our house was being built in Cocoa. Along with my two sisters, I slept in the loft on a mattress placed on the bare plank floor.  My two brothers, then babies, slept downstairs in my parents’ room. Every night my mother would come up and sit on the edge of our mattress to spend time with us individually and tuck us in. She helped me to memorize “The Lord’s Prayer” during his time. We didn’t attend church, so I don’t really know why I asked my mom to help me learn it, but it has become one of my most precious memories.

Sometimes we suppress memories of things that are painful to us, enabling us to function without having that heartache in the forefront of our minds. I don’t recall much about what was going on when my father decided to go to work in Mississippi and never returned to the family. Only the most indelible memories remain of when I lost my sister to illness.

A wonderful unforgettable memory was the birth of our first child in Holly Hill, Florida. The night I went into labor, my husband was on his way back from Plymouth, Florida hauling twenty-three tons of fertilizer with the International semi-truck he drove for a living. When I called the shop where the truck would be parked, C.H. Sledd told me Duke should be back within an hour or so.

Several phone calls later and after C.H. was convinced he was going to have to take me to the hospital, Duke finally arrived. He sped home, picked me up and we headed for Holly Hill. When we reached New Smyrna Beach, red lights began flashing in the rearview mirrors.  Once the officer shone his flashlight into the car and onto my ballooned belly, he escorted us to Daytona where he’d radioed ahead to advise the Daytona Beach police we were en route.  There we picked up another police escort who took us to the hospital, and two hours later, Rick was born.  I thought he was the most beautiful thing God had ever created. Then within the next six years, He gave us two more wonderful handsome sons. We now have six terrific grandchildren, five awesome great-grand children and we’re still counting. I could go on and on. We’ve been so blessed.

We “make” memories by doing things with our children, family and friends. Let’s make great memories for our family. Sometimes, it may take some effort, but for their sakes, it’s worth it.

What are some of your favorite memories?

Tune in next week when we talk about what happens when memories fade away.

%d bloggers like this: