I was tempted to go in some sort of order; however, if I did I knew I would get it all wrong. So, today’s gift has nothing to do with yesterday’s gift, nor is its place in the list any indication as to its significance.
Today I will reflect on the gift of ‘memories’. Like yesterday’s gift this one seems to have no true tangible manifestation but its worth is impossible to calculate.
I also feel I must clarify just what I mean. I am not actually talking about the memories themselves- which are a part of this gift and just as priceless- but I am thinking a little larger. My gift of memories would be the knowledge of how important they are, the ability to create my own, and the desire to see others experience memories of their own.
This, of course, is another gift that comes directly from my parents. I can still close my eyes and remember trading out the sour cream for cottage cheese while my Dad left the table, when he returned he inattentively loaded his burrito with cottage cheese, which he detested. It isn’t possible that I was over six years old and yet I still remember that my brother and I could hardly suppress our giggles.
I will never forget the birthday where my Mother dressed up and served our dinner in courses- I got to drink from ‘gold’ (really brass) goblets. Later she would tell me she had tried to make it as special as possible because I really wasn’t getting anything in the way of gifts, and money was tight. Gifts or not, I have no recollection of anything other than our meal.
At thirty years old I cannot put a pillow into its case without thinking about my grandmother and the day she taught me how to do it. The memory is strong enough that I can smell her house and fell her hands on mine as she smiled and made it into a game. Just yesterday when I took my bedding out of the dryer and began slipping my pillows into their cases I thought of her again.
Last night the Life Tabernacle kids when caroling and handed out cookies to elder members of our church. I did not feel very well (something seems to be trying to start- I have rebuked it and am currently consuming mass amounts of O.J.) but in spite of myself I couldn’t help but feel complete as we finished our caroling. I have so many memories of doing things in church when I was very young. Now it’s as if my life could be no other way. I pray everything we do for our children get’s deposited somewhere if for no other purpose than that they may say they were ‘raised around the church.’
Don’t be afraid to do something different this year. Make a memory, start a tradition, have banana splits for dinner on Christmas Eve. Do the unexpected… live a memory.