I recently walked out of the home I grew up in for what could be the last time. After a lifetime of, up until now, walking out that door without hesitation. Taking for granted the “open door policy” I had always enjoyed in my home, now I realized there would be new keys to new locks, new families, new memories and none would be mine. I found myself whirling around as if to steal a glimpse of the “me” who used to live there with the “those” who made it my home. For a frozen moment I could sense the fear and wonder of the pressure cooker on our stove. I could smell the cedar tree my dad and I had hurriedly taken from the side of some country back road. My ears were tuned in for that split second, to hear the voice of my Moma calling “Doug.”
These are all gone now. The pressure cooker is packed away, the cedar tree has long since been removed and the voice that calmed storms in my young life is recorded, but no longer producing new material. What remains? The memories. They come to mind at the most inconvenient times for tears but also come when a smile has too long been absent.
We are born thinking in terms of forever, only our “forevers” are much to narrow. We see life as having always been a certain way and therefore it will continue to always be such a way. Forever is an eternal state, meaning there was and there will be an immeasurable time span on each side of our little lives. There is nothing new under the sun and everyone goes through the ups and downs of existing. Often in our small-mindedness we consider our “good times” to be the best ever and our “bad times” to be the worst ever, and no one else can understand either or both.
Let me put it this way. You are not alone. I hope that statement is as comforting to you who read this as it was to me when I wrote it. We are people. We experience life, both good and bad. While I can never feel your reaction to it, I have had many of the same circumstances that force me to have reactionary feelings also. Let’s share togetherness and laugh with those who laugh and weep with those who weep. Let’s comfort them who mourn and celebrate with those who are excited. Let’s remember the past, yes, but let’s heal and learn toward our future.
The memories of my wonderful life, I will always have, and I now make new ones daily. The roles are the same, just with new characters playing the parts. The little “booger bear” as my Daddy used to call me, is now the Daddy and I have two little “booger bears” of my own. And one day if God blesses me, I’ll be the “Papa” my grandkids will remember as the greatest ever, complete with a “world’s greatest papa” shirt or tie. It’s true also that one day, they will lay this Daddy and Papa down to rest and I’ll want my family to continue the line of life. But today is NOT that day, at least not as of 11:05am, “ha” “ha.”
So I will remember, but I will not live in the past. I will heal. Yes I still hurt, I’m two years removed from losing my Daddy and five months removed from losing my Moma. I find healing though, as I become for others what I once had, in them. Understand? Life is not a circle, it’s a straight line. We won’t come back around but we can move forward. We must move forward. Moving forward is not a choice we are given, but how we move forward is.
Ya see… there is a pressure cooker on my stove. There’s a beautiful tree my boys stare at with wonder. When Paxton and Cooper come in the door, they are not wondering if the locks or the family inside will change. They hear their Moma’s and my voice, it calms the storms of their lives. And one day, yes it won’t be long really, they will whirl around to catch a glimpse of us, “tune in” t0 hear our voice, and likely tears will be spilled… But because of Jesus, because of God’s Son, they will smile and raise their families much like they were raised, knowing their mom and dad are waiting for them, hoping for them and speaking to God on their behalf’s.
I wrote this for you who are in ‘our stage’ of this life, where holidays can be tough, shoot just ordinary Thursdays can be tough. I want you to know there is power in prayer. There is power in His Word. There is power in together. I am proof of all of this. My pain is very minimal my healing has been swift. No, I will not apologize for this, I know it has been the hand of God. I also know since He did this for me He can and He will do this for you.
Let me go for now with this…… “ENJOY YOUR TIME” she said, as I sat there at Starbucks. Three simple words, this person had no idea, they changed my life.
Merry Christmas 2013,