#memories

HER OLD SHOES

 

 

Of all the things he loves about her…of those he can and cannot see…he loves how emotional…how nostalgic…how sentimental she can be.

 

He loves how in the big and in the small things in life her sentimentality is infused…which is why he understood her tears…as she gazed at her new shoes.

 

Her old shoes were showing their age…from all those years of being worn…they were weathered around the edges…and the toe of one was torn.

 

But her new shoes still sat in the closet…she hadn’t worn them yet….it seems her old shoes were full of memories she was not yet ready to forget.

 

But it was time…she knew it…and she knew the reason why…her old shoes were ready to be retired…it was time to say goodbye.

 

She looked at her new shoes then to her old shoes….and thought of all the times lived in between…all the places those old shoes had taken her…all the things, together, they had seen.

 

“My old shoes are like old friends.” She said. “They’ve earned a place in my affection.   And just like a pair of old friends…I’ve learned to look past their flaws and imperfections.”

 

“There is a comfort you develop with old friends…an enjoyment you never want to lose.”

She said…a tear dropping to her cheek as she held up her old shoes.

 

I imagine she was thinking how one pair marks the end of a journey…the other where a new one begins…when suddenly a thought crossed her mind…and her face evolved into a grin.

 

“I bet these old shoes have one memory left.” She smiled. “One more walk, one more run, one more climb.” Then she slipped then on and laced them up for what would be their one last time.

 

Yes, this os one of the things he loves about her he thought…as off the beaten path they traversed…

how the last walk in a pair of old shoes can make her as happy as the first.

 

View joy's Full Portfolio

GRANDMA'S RECIPES

 

 

 

They’ve all saved Grandma’s recipes…some they know by heart…many in a copy of the book she wrote them in…for it is often amidst her recipes…where memories of her begin.

 

Whenever they read her handwriting…sort through her ingredients…turn on a mixer…pick up a knife…whenever they bake what Grandma baked…it brings her back to life.

 

For it is surrounded by Grandma’s recipes…

where aromas of her are strongest…

Where, when they close their eyes and smile,

her memories linger longest 

 
 
View joy's Full Portfolio

CAN YOU MISS SOMEONE YOU NEVER KNEW?

 

 

I listened to loved ones reading the names of those they lost on 9/11 and long before the reading was through….I remember thinking to myself…How can you miss someone you never knew?

 

Some of the people reading the names on that sorrowful carrousel…weren’t even born when those planes crashed…weren’t alive when the towers fell.

 

They were too young to know the person hatred mercilessly snatched away…yet they all said: Even though I never knew you…I miss you every day.

 

So I began to listen more closely at how their stories intertwined…and how they all found joy and happiness in the memories left behind.

 

Ironically, it is that joy and happiness…(at least this is my belief)…that offers us some comfort…as it ushers in our grief.

 

And it is precisely that joy and happiness spread out to each family member…to those who were not born yet…or those oo young to remember…

 

Joyous memories of an uncle, brother, sister, father or a wife…that takes a person they never knew they lost…and brings them back to life.

 

“You were my best friend…brother.”

“She was smart and funny and wise.”

“Mommy says I have your smile.”

“Daddy says have your eyes.”

 

Perhaps it is each memory of a moment of love…a moment shared…that helps us through those other moments…when we’re sad or lonely or scared.

 

Perhaps it is each memory…with a loved one that we share…that can help to build a memory…of a person no longer there.

 

And perhaps it is each memory passed from me to you…to you…

That can make another person…miss…someone they never knew…

 

Yes, the more I listened the more I realized…it is possible to miss someone you never knew…

because as they told their stories…

I began to miss them too.

 
 
View joy's Full Portfolio

BEFORE THEY DISAPPEAR

I remember Grandpa…when our family gathered at his house…as our joy and laughter filled the air…we would always find him smiling…sitting in his favorite chair.

 

I remember how he’d smile…listening to new stories…or stories we retold…when I was young I figured that’s what Grandpas do when Grandpas get that old.

 

Sometimes he would add to a story…Oh! How his stories could beguile…but most of the time he was content to sit…to listen...to watch…and smile.

 

I know now what Grandpa was doing…it wasn’t because he was old…or weird…he was capturing memories as they surfaced…before they disappeared.

 

He was gathering up new memories…ones he hadn’t heard before and filing them away in his heart…in the place where memories are stored.

 

As he listened to us retell old stories…stories of family and friends…he was recalling his own memories and seeing how they blend.

 

He was reveling in the moment…knowing moments like those only last a little while….awash in all those memories…he could not help but smile.

 

I know this because when our family gathers at our house…as joy and laughter fill the air…I am now that Grandpa smiling…sitting in my favorite chair.

 

Capturing as many memories as I can…new memories and old ones I hold dear…smiling…trying to enjoy every moment…before those moments disappear.

 

Hoping every memory I’m a part of…over time…in my family will appear and reappear…and just like memories of my grandpa 

will bring a smile to their faces…

when I’m no longer here.

 
 
View joy's Full Portfolio

DA VINCI AND MONET MEMOREIS

 

 

 

From the time I first gazed upon them I have loved the paintings of Monet…

love the impression of his subjects…love his colors…love the way they interplay.

 

I’ve also loved the paintings of da Vinci…though a completely different style…

I love the details of his Mona Lisa…love her colors…love her smile.

 

I think memory is a lot like these paintings for when a moment is first unveiled…

It is brushed upon our hearts and minds…like a da Vinci…in detail.

 

But over time our memories seems to blend together…a little everyday

until, when we grow a little older…we tend to remember in Monet.

 

When our family comes together and we bring up memories of yesterday…

Invariably we all remember them…in a slightly different way.

 

Facts we knew distinctly when first experienced…facts we remember as sublime

tend…inside our memories…to blend together over time.

 

I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked…that this is the way our memories replay…

why da Vinci memories tend to fade into memories like Monet

 

Perhaps when we were created this is how our memories were cast…

and we are meant to find small details in our impressions of the past.

 

Perhaps it’s precisely those details that help shape our impressions…eventually…

for that is the essence of art

and

the beauty of memory.

 
 
View joy's Full Portfolio

WHEN THE TV GOES TO SLEEP

 

 

When our TV goes to sleep we have this app that immediately awakens…it links to all our photographs…every photograph we’ve ever taken.

 

The photographs appear for a few seconds…chosen randomly from a vast array…enough to stir a memory before that memory fades away.

 

There is no chronology to their appearance…no rhyme nor reason…if you please…

They take us back and forth throughout our lives with alacrity and ease.

 

Birthday cakes, family vacations…a mountain landscape…a beautiful sky

Graduations…sunsets…family…holidays…all pass in the blink of an eye. 

 

Camping, people who have passed, grandchildren playing football on the lawn…moments…just like life…there for a moment…then they’re gone.

 

As this slide show plays out in front of our eyes…usually we smile…sometimes we’re perplexed…as our memory tries to catch up from one picture to the next.

 

Most of the time we just ooh and aah…as different memories burst before our eyes…It’s kind of like watching fireworks…exploding across the sky.

 

We’ve found ourselves watching these memories and losing track of time

realizing how lucky we’ve been as together through life we climb…

 

Which is why you’ll often find us sitting in our living room

searching for memories we’d love to keep…

as they burst upon the screen…

when our TV goes to sleep.

 

View joy's Full Portfolio

A WALK AMONG THE GIANTS

 

 

Joyce Kilmer began his now famous poem:

I think that I shall never see…a poem as lovely as a tree

and the older I grow…the more I walk among them…

the more with Mr. Kilmer I agree

 

His beautifully simple poem…written in 1913…as a tribute to the tree…is what brought us to the Joyce Kilmer forest…in Robbinsville…NC.

 

After a beautiful drive in the country…at the entrance we arrived

and we realized we were here 30 years ago..with our children and Deborahs’s dad while he was still alive.

 

As the memories washed over us…memories with one another we exchanged…we thought how our life is so different 30 years later…but this forest hasn’t changed.

 

In truth…the trees have grown a little older…some have fallen…and their wrinkles aren’t as small…but when we stopped to think about it…that has happened to us all.

 

It’s a virgin forest (meaning it’s never been logged)…and is truly a sight to behold…There are 100 species of trees…some standing 100 feet tall…many over 400 years old.

 

As we began to walk among these giants…we didn’t travel very far…before once again realizing how huge are the trees that surround us…and how minuscule we are.

 

We’d find one of these behemoths…then at it’s base the two of us would stop…We’d turn our eyes to the heavens…but we could not see the top.

 

We noticed each tree is like a high rise apartment…some standing alone…others interweaved…with a host of animals, insects and plants living among their bark, their branches…their leaves.

 

Walking in the midst of these ancient giants…we felt blessed…we felt a joy within us release…..our hearts seemed to beat a little slower and our inner souls found peace.

 

His poem is not a very long poem…it ends as it began…quite lyrically…stating: poems are made by fools like me…but only God can make a tree

 

We added new memories to our old ones…

in a virgin forest we once visited 30 years before……

and as I try to put our feelings into a poem…

Mr. Kilmer I couldn’t agree with you more.

 
 
View joy's Full Portfolio

BUBBLES

 

 

What is it about bubbles…not only do they make us feel good…

but they have a way of instantly transporting us…back to our childhood.

 

I wonder…as we watch bubbles…soaring high up to the sky

if it’s possible to be angry when a bubble passes by.

 

One of the things I love about the mountains…about life in general, as we ascend…is all the wonders…all the surprises waiting around every bend.

 

We had been at the cabin for a while when as a new day before us dawned…Deborah came running out of the bedroom…she’d found a bubble wand.

 

The wand was filled with bubble solution…it hadn’t yet run dry

when Deborah pulled it out and said…let’s give these bubble a try.

 

As we watched perfect bubbles forming and floating all about

immediately our hearts opened up…and let our children out. 

 

We lost all track of time…the two of us…standing there…

Watching bubble after bubble dancing in the air.

 

Watching some soar up to the sky…trying to catch the ones that dropped…

laughing…just like children when certain bubbles popped.

 

Playing with the bubbles as they surrounded us was a wonderful endeavor 

while at the same serving as a reminder how nothing lasts forever.

 

Another way of reminding us…as countless bubbles passed

to enjoy each moment knowing…the moment will not last.

 

Reminding us as we grow older..to take the time play and scream and shout…

and even when there are no bubbles…to let our children out.

 

View joy's Full Portfolio

JUST ANOTHER CAMPFIRE

 

 

It was just another campfire the old couple sat around…listening to the crackling of the wood…watching the flames push off the ground

 

Watching as sparks break off from the fire to be free…to fly…to soar…just another campfire…like so many campfires they've sat around before.

 

At this campfire it was just the two of them…in the silence of the night…snuggled next to one another…faces illuminated by the light.

 

If you were blessed to be nearby…and watching for a while

you’d have seen them close their eyes…

you’d have seen them laugh and smile.

 

You’d have seen how just another campfire has the ability to transcend...into memories of other campfires…with family and friends

 

If you’d have been inside their minds…you’d see them as children in all their glories…you’d see them toasting marshmallows…feeling the warmth…telling stories.

 

You’d see them with their own family…you’d watch the sweet togetherness a campfire brings…before life and time and growing up…chances everything.

 

You’d sit in wonder around this campfire…realizing why they love it so…knowing it is more than how the flames shoot up and oscillate to and fro.

 

You’’d see it’s not as just another campfire…but a campfire so boundless and vast…it has a way of connecting…through its flames…to all their campfires of the past.

 
 
View joy's Full Portfolio