When does the time come that the longing for lost moments fades and the sweet memories become cherished and bring mostly smiles instead of tears?
Maybe never. Maybe not until that time when we are passing through the last days, reaching for that door that will take us to another world, to fulfillment of the longings.
I attended my 50th class reunion recently. Only those of us creeping towards 70 (it was hard to fathom as I looked around at my high school classmates that we would all be seventy in a couple of years) can understand the torn parts of our inner souls. Reaching backward, not wanting to let go; so many ‘this might be the last time…’ that we forget we must look forward, and turning that corner does not mean the precious times are over, only that there are more memories to look back on as we make new ones.
Each time I hold a grandchild in my arms, sweet memories return of holding my son. I still look at my son of 43 and can almost feel his heartbeat next to mine as I rocked him to sleep those many years ago. The last time my mother called, just to ask what I was doing, I long to hear that phone ring again with her voice on the other end. The last time I pulled the covers up to her chin and told her I loved her, she said it back to me, though her memory was waning.
So many last times, they come rushing back to me as I stoop and pick up broken limbs in the backyard. Without warning, the memories flood my soul, and I feel as if my chest will burst open with the weight of it. My breath catches; I falter.
I stand up from my bent position staring at the ground, and look upon the tree whose limbs I have retrieved. The tree stands tall in my backyard, grown from a seedling pulled from a flower bed. Tall and graceful, the slight breeze blowing the treetop, moving the leaves gently. I imagine little angels, cherubs, I supposed, dancing across the tops of the trees, laughing as the leaves tickle their feet. The tree beckons. I nod at the tree to say thank you and walk over to the strong trunk that has grown from this land of my grandfather, and I hug this beautiful creation of God.
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