They say when you reach the end of your life, memories play back like snapshots.
Images of your first best friend, your first doll house, your first day of school … your first surprise birthday party.
I was five or six, young enough to have little concept of time, when my parents decided to throw my first surprise party. Had I been a year or two older, their plans would’ve failed, sabotaged by all my nagging:
“Did you forget what day it is, Mom?”
“What’d you get me?”
“Where’s my cake?”
And receiving no answers, or vague ones at that, I would’ve thrown a giant, Jennifer-sized fit likely resulting in me being grounded. On my birthday.
But that wasn’t what happened, though, frankly, I don’t remember a whole lot of the details. I don’t remember who came, what gifts I received, or what games I played. I don’t even remember the flavor of the cake, though I assume chocolate. Yes, I was a chocoholic, even back then.
What I do remember, however, is spending a chunk of time with my dad who drove me all about, wasting time while my mother prepared for my party.
Funny, those memories of he and I doing basically nothing are stronger than my memories of the actual party.
Why is it some events cement themselves in our brain with such impact, such emotional oomph, while others drift away, soon forgotten?
As a mom, I find myself considering this, because I know what I do (or don’t do) today, forms lasting memories deep in my daughter’s heart. Sometimes it’s the oddest things that mean the most to her. Listening to her talk about her past, I catch glimpses into her heart, hints of those mental snapshots she’s building.
And I’ve discovered something. Most often, her most vivid memories are of those simple, casual moments when she and I did basically nothing. Together.
Because it’s not the event that creates the memory but the person we share the event with. It’s the emotional connection made.
This simplifies things, doesn’t it? For me, realizing this creates a sense of peace. It reminds me I don’t need to be the most exciting mom, I don’t need to plan outlandish outings and events. I just need to be there. Fully present.
That’s the snapshot I long to create.
What about you? Consider some of your fondest memories. What sticks out the most—the event or the person you shared the moment with? As a parent or spouse, has your loved one shared any special memories with you? Did those memories surprise you? What are you doing today to create those special snapshots in your loved one’s life?
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently discounted in e-book format for under $3! You can find it here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beyond-i-do-jennifer-slattery/1118903211?ean=9781596694170
She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and writes and edits for Christ to the World Ministries. When not writing, Jennifer loves helping aspiring authors grow in their craft, and has editing slots open beginning in November. Find out more here: http://wordsthatkeep.wordpress.com/
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.
Beyond I Do:
Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?
Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.
Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.
Read a free, 36-page excerpt here:
Wife. Mom. Author. Reader. Blogger. Amateur nature photographer. Chocolate eater. Encouraging you to surrender the good, the bad, and---maybe one day---the chocolate.
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