Deep Thoughts

Connected

Lori's FIrst School Photo

My first school picture.

Complicated

Emotions get so darn complicated, especially when we start digging around in the past. I can understand why some people choose to just let those old days stay buried under that thick layer of years. I totally get this point of view. After all, the past is dead and gone.

I’ve always been too curious about exactly what makes us tick to leave the past alone. So when someone showed up at my door this past week and was willing to blow the dust off some old stories, I was more than ready to listen.

A Sweet Visit

I enjoyed the sweetest visit with these folks I haven’t seen in a long, long while. They are people who I love and admire. They are role models for me because of the way they live and the choices they’ve made. One of them I’ve known forever. The other I’ve only known for twenty years or so. I’m so grateful to know both of them.

Listen to me read this post:

I’ll miss them when they’re gone, all the older folks in my life. They remind me of where I came from and they remind me of when I was a child. It was so long ago now that I rely on their memories as evidence that I really was a kid! It’s not my imagination. A very long time ago, I did live that life, and my visitor was there for a lot of it.

Stories to Share

Mom and Me

Mom and me.

She shared stories of my mother: precious, intimate, and heart wrenching memories of their friendship. All lives are made up of bitter and sweet ingredients in different measures, individual blends of difficult and easy, pleasant and unpleasant. We talked about the recipe that created my mom’s life.

It was hard to hear details of her sorrows though I’d known about them. It was hard to see them from this new angle. Now those difficulties seemed closer and more real. Our conversation confirmed the depth of sadness I’d suspected. Sometimes I don’t want to be right and this was one of those times. Tell me I’m wrong. Please tell me I’ve misunderstood.

My Dream

I remember a dream I had about my mom shortly after she died. She was wearing her burgundy velour track suit from the early 80s and she was sitting at our old kitchen table. I asked her, “Mom, were you happy?” She didn’t speak. Instead, she looked at me and then laid her head on her folded arms on the tabletop and wept. That was my heart’s answer.

All my life I’ve known about my mother’s sadness. Still, remembering those stories brings me closer to the time I feel so disconnected from. You don’t often tell the deeper stories of a life unless you’re recounting them with someone who’s familiar with your stories, someone who was there, too. When everyone’s already read the book and is on the same page, it’s easier to discuss what was written.

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Me today, older and squinty, but happy to be in this place now.

The morning my friends left, I watched their truck drive away until it rounded the bend out of my sight. Then I went back inside the house and cried tears of thankfulness and sorrow, of nostalgia and yearning. I cried because I longed for what can’t be. It’s impossible to reach in to the past and heal relationships, mend broken hearts, and restore peace. Those days are gone and while it was good to reconnect with my past, I’m pretty much glad it’s over.

 

 

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2 replies »

  1. Wow, Lori, you look so much like your mother. Okay, just had to say that. Now, about your post–I’m of the opinion we need to revisit (or get visited by) those “old places” in our lives–the people, the situations, the child/adolescent/young adult we were, the houses we lived in. It is bittersweet but I think it gives us a sense of a connected life. So much in contemporary living feels designed to treat life as disparate events, but I believe everything is connected. Glad you got to see those old family friends, remember your mother, consider your past, and shed a tear for the difficult, exhilarating, confusing, marvelous thing that is your life. That is all lives. What we have lived is to be celebrated, even if only for having survived it intact.

    • Yes, all lives have their share of difficulties. I’m not sure
      every difficulty is worth celebrating, though. We can celebrate coming through in one piece – that’s for sure! Thanks again for taking the time to comment so thoughtfully, Amy!

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