The Preciousness of Remembering

When I was a child Little Tasha 4and death or even disaster was to be spoken of, someone would say, “Not in front of the children.” The subject would be changed or I would be told to go off and play so the adults could continue their discussion. Yet because we had animals, death and change were part of my life. I witnessed the drowning of baby ducks and the demise of baby chicks. It was hard when a dog got into my pet rabbits’ pen and maimed them. My aunt’s gardener had to–as I was told, “put them out of their suffering.” Death was no stranger to my childhood. I am neither uncomfortable with it nor afraid of it.

Still, it does have an effect. The recent passing of a dear friend has brought a sense of immediacy to my relationships, and prompted a renewed sense of attention to my way of thinking about life. She and I used to speak each morning except Sundays. More than once I said to Stephen, “One day the phone will not ring at 9:30 every day.” Then indeed that day did come. While I miss my friend, I know she is in a much more comfortable and happy place than she has been for some time. Though I do miss her calls I also rejoice for her.

I am happy to have pleasant memories of our time together. That is the saving grace of partings. It is also a reminder to focus when I am with a dear one and to be present in order to have something to remember. More and more as I get older I have come to realize that endings come whether we want them to or not. We have no way of knowing whether or not any given conversation, meeting or interaction with another may be our last. I do not say this because I have a morbid fear of endings but rather as a reminder that any time we spend with another may be significant.

When we are children we have no understanding of how it is that things change or perhaps end. That ignorance may even be important to children’s comfort and sense of security. Most adults grow accustomed to change and learn to flow with it. It may be an aspect of maturity in human beings to be able to do that. In my life there have been many changes I could never have anticipated. Being able to adapt to them has been crucial to my happiness. Developing a sense of detachment to an anticipated condition of permanence has been not only valuable but also essential.

When I was a child, I could buy an ice cream cone for a nickel. Now even the smallest one costs 50 times that. The decor in my parents’ living room changed once in my memory. Today many people redecorate frequently. Then divorce was rare, people stayed at the same job for most of their lives, I could go on and on about how it used to be. My point is that change is more than ever a constant in most lives. For our comfort it is important to be able to deal with all forms of change, whether of décor or of circumstances. When I make the time to focus my attention and to appreciate what is happening, whether with a relationship or an experience, I have much less regret when it ends.

2 thoughts on “The Preciousness of Remembering

  1. We are changing less in obvious ways as the years pass, but making internal changes minute by minute. Because our bodies are changing, we are always adapting, finding another way to do something that we’d always done simply. But redecorating? We redecorated when my father died because our furniture was almost catastrophic from the dogs and the kids. Now, i just hope things hold up because I don’t see redecorating ever if i can help it!

    Did you imagine March would be like this? I thought we’d be looking at spring flowers and instead, we are monitoring the coming of storms. We got almost 28 inches of snow here and Garry has been out shoveling. Garry says we are going to have one of those years when one day, it’s winter and the next day, everything blooms and it’s suddenly 80 degrees.

    I’m just hoping it stops snowing. This month has been full of doctor appointments. Every March is like this. For some reason, the cardiologist and the oncologist and the annual physical and all the ensuing tests come together in a big pile up right around my birthday. Some birthday!

    We have not forgotten you. We keep thinking we’re going to at least be able to get up the driveway without climbing over banks of snow. Any day now!

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  2. Thanks for your comment. It is lovely to hear from you. Life has been keeping us busy too, though not shoveling, thank goodness. Glad you are still thinking of us and looking forward to a visit when weather permits. Love you to see Stephen’s exhibit at Briarwood. It is just wonderful! WE’d love to take you over or meet ou thr. It’s on Wet Mt. Road in Worcester. The Briarwood Gallery. It’s up until May so there is tim. Love and hugs to you both, Tasha


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