Thursday, February 6, 2014

Encounters of the Lasting Kind

A few days ago my friend Barb, a professional harpist by trade, responded to my posting An Afternoon Filled To The Brim (February 2, 2014) with a few poignant memories of her own.  I hope her words trigger memories in your heart and mind. The people who have influenced you the most probably have no idea the impact they have had.  May you be encouraged as God blesses others through you.

Barb wrote: 

You might be surprised what she'll remember. 

I was four years old the first time I heard a harp. I think I remember everything from that day, the colors in the costumes of the dancers, the concert hall, where exactly we sat, the weather. It was magical. The memories still are beautiful.

I was 2 1/2 when we moved from Detroit to Akron, when my dad's military service ended. I remember the house we lived in there. I remember the day the moving trucks came and what the house looked like all packed up, boxes piled around my bed and in the living room of our military housing. I remember our favorite babysitter coming to say goodbye. I remember living in the cottage here while the house was being built. None of that felt traumatic, I just remember for some reason. 

I remember visiting my grandparents in Akron and how soft their cocker spaniel was. Timmy (the dog) died before I turned three. It's a very early memory. Grandma would give me a snack in the breakfast room then, always in a chair, never walking around. I can't remember how old I was when I was trusted to "eat on my feet" in her house. 

Wait and see. She could easily have memories of some of these special times with you. Maybe not in detail like I have, but emotions and snippets enough that she'll remember the times you spent focused only on each other. The times I had focused one on one with my grandparents are the times etched in my memory, much more so than the family gatherings.  It's  the quiet times with my grandparents that I remember well, not the loud, shared events. 

Not all of it will evaporate with time. I hope that some day you'll be writing a blog post about this granddaughter asking you to "remember when..." and you'll talk about those special days together, bridging the miles in a way that keeps hearts close. 

You are as far from your grandchildren as my parents were from (my son) Augie. They managed to be very close in spite of the distance. So much so that Augie called last week asking how we could get together for his birthday. He turned 27 on Friday. "I know that Grandma and Grandpa have only missed being with me for my birthday one time" he said, "and I know how important it is to them." It is important to them, but I know it is also important to him. We drove to Pittsburgh and celebrated in their new home with soup and muffins for lunch, simple food, quiet conversation and happy hearts.
Mom sent him postcards weekly when he was very young, beginning when he could hold them and chew on them. She'd write short notes, reminding him of their time together or telling about ducks she saw on the lake. I think that habit helped in their closeness and now he writes two postcards a week to her.

Wait and see. You are building memories and while she won't keep all, I think you might be surprised at the events that etch themselves in her memory. 


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