As I looked at the picture of my wife and littlest one, I smiled… That was a long time ago… Although cute and heart warming, I recall a time when I remembered the faces and even the events more distinctly. I can recall a time when I remembered that time period or chapter in our lives more clearly than I do now. They’re becoming fading memories.
I recall cherishing those moments often in the past. I studied the faces of my loved ones and even memorized some of the dialogue of that time, hoping to keep the memory ever present in my drifting mind.
A creeping sadness overwhelms me… I can’t say for sure how old my wife or daughters were in those pictures. Worse yet is the fact that time has steamrolled on, leaving even more of my life in the dust of memories.
I didn’t realize, or at least took for granted, the beauty in my wife and her character. I remember seeing glimpses of her physical and personality traits in the kids. Interesting how much more clear it becomes in hindsight…
At this stage in my life, I’m beginning to sense a caption that goes along with each precious picture and memory represented within it. “Did you do enough”? In other words, “Did I do all that I could to be the person that would bring honor to God, family, and myself at the time?
The answers vary… But, since there is no perfection on this earth I probably don’t need to share any details.
As I looked over at the picture that sits 6 feet from where I study and sometimes write, I pondered a couple more things. One of those things was how or why didn’t the pictures grab me like they did the day of this writing?
I think sometimes we see things, but looking at them with our eyes and the brain not being engaged, or engaged in other matters, doesn’t allow us to really see things.
Interesting how you can see something week after week or month after month, then finally see it. I mean see with the eyes, register with the brain, jaw drop in wonder and amazement. Then comes bittersweet memories coupled with some comforting regret, pouring through the mind like water, so much so that some actually leak out the eye sockets…
The other thing I wondered is how my loved ones see the same picture… And I mean see the way I did the day of this writing, in wonder and awe of how different life is for everyone now, and the perspective that will have been gained by the actions of all the lives involved.
How will they remember their mom? She’s in most of the pictures, even when she didn’t feel in the mood or photogenic. You can’t find me in too many pictures in those days. I’ve never been a camera lover, I didn’t care for the reality of what it showed.
I thought more of myself and my desires or dislikes than I thought of my loved ones feelings… In some weird way, I sold it to myself as humility. It may have been in some aspects, but when I’m completely honest it had too much thought of me in the process.
Is that how I’ll be remembered? I hope not. Strong willed, stubborn, and intense? Oh yeah, of that I’m certain. It could be the love, innocence, and beauty I see in the old pictures of my family aren’t as easy to spot in me.
My loved ones won’t be able to see a picture of me pondering our lives in an old picture. Even if they do they won’t be able to see the life-giving love I have for them. They won’t see what a better man God molded me into because of them.
They won’t be able to see me swallow this lump in my throat…
As I turn my eyes away…