There have been times that I truly wish could have lingered on a little longer. Moments when I knew this was one of the best moments of my life and I wanted to hold on to them. Sometimes in daydreams I go back in time, trying to feel that specialness again. They sit on the protected shelves in the halls of my memories and from time to time I take them down, dust them off, and cherish them for what they are.
When I was little, perhaps only a couple of years old I have a special memory of splashing around in my tiny pool on the rooftop of our apartment building. The water was cool on my tiny pink toes and the contrast against my hot skin made me feel exhilarated. The freedom of being alive, happy in the comfort of my toddler bubble was appreciated so much that I placed it as one of my favorite memories to be cherished my whole life.
The memory didn’t need to have other complex attachments. Even though in spite of my age, I knew that things would not stay this way forever and I had a need to appreciate the memory. Isn’t it funny how even little children have an understanding of important things?
A few years later I was snuggled close in the big bed with my great-grandmother. The covers were pulled up around us as we sat back on big fluffy pillows. Between us we had a bag full of snack sized 3 Musketeer bars that we shared. We were watching Gallagher, a comedian popular for smashing watermelons on stage and splashing his audience. Truthfully, I didn’t get most of his jokes. But I loved watching it with her and I laughed every time he took a sledge-hammer to a melon. I knew this was a special time with her. When she died many years later, the only thing I wanted was to crawl in bed with her again and pull the covers around us. Now, from time to time, my daughter who is 15 and I will crawl into my bed for that special place and snuggle close to talk about life and share some chocolate.
First dates, first kisses, and first intimate moments all take their place in the halls of my memories. Laughing in the rain as it poured down on our heads as my husband and I danced through the mud to the music only we heard in our head as we fell in love. Hanging on to the moment as tight as we could, not letting anything spoil the memory we were making, that became part of our love story.
More recently I was sitting in a coffee shop overlooking the beach with my daughter. She and I love it there, we sit for hours watching the waves, look for seals, enjoying free wi-fi from the coffee shop. There was a moment that I drift to regularly that takes me to this favorite spot. I was writing on my laptop, reflecting on life and happiness. The sun was shining and it was just one of those incredibly beautiful days. As usual, Lance called for his daily chat. And I remember saying to him that this was possibly one of the happiest days of my life. For a rare time, everyone was happy. I was feeling really good. I was so thankful for the people in my life. I wanted to save that moment forever.
He had such a great way of looking at things. He and I talked about how our lives were actually taking a turn for the best. We were both making efforts to capture the spirit of true happiness in our lives. He was going to ask the girl he loved to be his wife. I was going to make some changes that were long overdue. We talked about a friend of ours that we were both overjoyed to reconnect with. He was going to call him and I had just came home from a visit. We talked about wanting to stay in the glow of this amazing day. It was one of our best talks in one the best places. We laughed and said he needed to come to the beach with me next time he was visiting and we talked about him coming to visit for Thanksgiving. He didn’t make it. He died in an accident just a couple of weeks later.
Amazing days all have to come to an end sometime. We get them and we save them in special places. When we need them, we get to go back to those days and linger in their warmth. I know I’ll have many more moments to add to as time goes by. Hopefully I am included in some of the special moments with others I love too. I know that for those that have passed on, these special times I shared with them make me feel like they are still with me. It’s as if we have this common place that we return to together and we can linger there in this timeless place.
Some choose to fill their memories with sadness or anger. Those feelings make it hard to take comfort in the times that were good. I don’t want to be that sort of person. I don’t want the images in my heart to be of tears or rage. I want to be back in my Gram’s big bed instead of hiding behind locked doors. Or sitting in the perfect coffee shop talking to my best friend, not knowing that it might be the last heart to heart conversation he and I would ever have. We actually get that choice. We have the option to accept this day as one of the best ones of our lives and breathe in this sense of joy or to be so busy and consumed with the negative feelings that we let these moments pass by without saving them for when we might need them.
Not every day is perfect. We have those frustrating days to make us appreciate the ones that are magical and worth putting on a special shelf. We all need bad days to make the good ones feel ever better, don’t you think?