Loveys, I'll just tell you, my heart is heavy. My grandmother has been very ill and these past few days have been filled with anxiety and emotion and memories. The memories part is a blessing though. I keep thinking about my childhood--all the moments I spent with my Mimi. I keep thinking of playing at her house, going to VBS with her every summer at her church, watching movies with her, singing in the car with her, sleeping next to her when I went to visit and talking late into the night, dyeing Easter eggs with her, going shopping . . . so many memories.
I can't even tell you what a fun and wonderful grandmother she's been since the very beginning. All I know is that I'm lucky to have such happy memories. I'm lucky to have always had her in my life. She's my Mimi and I love her.
Sifting through all these childhood memories, I begin to feel sad that I'm so far removed from them. In real ways, they weren't so long ago. Time goes fast, as we all know. You blink and your children have grown so much. I was in Texas recently, in our old neighborhood, and I mentioned to my sister Laura that every time I go back, I realize all over again the distance between myself and my childhood. It feels so far away--those days where I sat at the kitchen table in my pajamas with Sara and Laura while my dad made scrambled eggs and my mother drank coffee. We looked at a lot of old family photos while I was in town. Seeing pictures of me and Sara at Christmastime as children just tugged at my heart. Pictures of us playing on our old deck, on our way to school, at Mimi's house--for me, those are the memories that warm me and squeeze my heart at the same time.
You live those minutes without realizing that they are imprints on your heart that will never leave. And you only remember so many. You might live thousands of minutes and hours and days, but you only remember a portion of them.
I want to remember.
One of my girlfriends took this picture (above) of my kids while I was out of town. She sent it to me and I've looked at it over and over. I want to freeze my children in this moment and just soak it up--write it on my heart and hold on to it. I want to remember. Even if they don't. Lincoln is small, he probably won't remember much of this time of his life. Ashtyn might remember some of this year, but probably not too much. But I don't want to forget. I want to remember for them. Remember that Lincoln talks about himself in third person and it's adorable (he says, "Where is Lincoln's blankie?"). Remember that Ashtyn loves to dance and before I flew to Texas she told me she'd made up a song for me. She knew I was leaving for the weekend and this is the song she sang: "We are in love. But my hair is golden and yours is black. But our hearts are the same." (Precious, I know.) Lincoln loves the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on TV (just like Ashtyn did when she was two). Ashtyn loves Sofia the First and both kids love Curious George. Ashtyn's learning sight words and reading isn't far in her future. Lincoln can count to ten and he loves to copy everything Ashtyn does.
I cried today. The swirl of emotions in me just rose to the surface and that's okay. Sometimes it has to. Between work and house projects and physical therapy and needing to buy another car and keeping up with housework and laundry and cooking and pressing deadlines, and somehow finding time to pray and breathe amid all that--I can forget things. It happens to all of us. So we write things down to remind ourselves. We take pictures to document our lives and the lives of the ones going through life with us. We cling to the people who love us when we're hurting. We have to let people help us.
And sometimes we pause and remember all those memories that are tucked in our hearts, those minutes we carry with us everywhere we go. Do you ever just miss those days? I think of that Miranda Lambert song The House that Built Me. I listened to that song many times when it first came out. Because so many of us relate. We want to go back for just a moment and live those moments, all while knowing how special they are. But instead of going back, we go forward.
And we capture moments like the one below. And even the hard days are covered in grace. Because we have faith and love and each other to walk by us.