It’s hard to remember, and it’s not just due to my age, or getting so lost in a thought that I forgot which route I took to get home. Our culture is not given to remembering. It’s more about what’s trending on Twitter at very this moment. So, this month’s synchroblog which encourages us to remember what we need to savor from the past year is a great idea.
There are some things I don’t want to forget.
I don’t want to forget that I published a book in the last year. It is the culmination of a lifetime, much of it born out of pain and disappointment that eventually gave way to a fresh perspective and new kind of freedom. Its part memoir, part reflecting on how wonderfully surprising Jesus was, part helpful insights for church leaders who know they do better, and part joining in solitary with my brothers and sisters who practice An Irreligious Faith.
I don’t want to forget living on a little-known southwestern Florida barrier island for two weeks. What a way to celebrate forty years of marriage. Our family was there with us for part of the time, too. Living in a luxurious apartment right on the beach, soaking up the tropical sun, enjoying the exotic vegetation and wildlife, seeing the amazing homes of the rich and famous, walking along the shore splatting in the surf, socializing while standing chest deep in the Atlantic, seldom wearing shoes or a shirt, sharing it all with Patty. It was a wonderfully different world that energized me for the real one I would return to.
I don’t ever want to forget the times I had with parents and brother. My parents are elderly and in poor health, and my brother is disabled. I am legally responsible for them. This year, I made five trips to St. Joseph, Missouri where they live. Two of them were visits. For one, our daughter and her family joined us. The other three were all for moves. This year, I moved my parents to a retirement center. When my dad went to a nursing home, I moved my mom to a different apartment. And, I moved my brother from one retirement center to another. Now he and mom live across the hall from each other.
Moving my parents last winter was a rough one. Dad was out of it, and had to be hospitalized as we were moving. It was ragged. So, much to do. So far away. I slept on a leaky air bed in an empty apartment, then in my folk’s now empty old apartment, still on the air bed. The last few nights I finally had a real bed in a guest room at the retirement center. It took over two weeks. Last November, I moved Mom again. Lots and lots of work, much appreciation, and well, just the right thing to do. It’s nice knowing you are in the right place, doing the right thing, helping people you love. It’s a real plus that these moves greatly improved conditions for Dad, Mom and Bill.
I don’t want to forget the beauty of one of the nicest outdoor markets in the country. We were there at the Kenosha Harbor Market nearly every Saturday for Patty’s jewelry business, Beadmomma. Live music all around, all manner of quality vendors, Lake Michigan, sail boats and yachts, lighthouses, museums, flowers, interesting people. Fun!
I don’t want to forget the joy of being exhausted at the end of the day, after working hard to make our home, well, ours. Digging out bushes, planting new grasses and flowers, laying sod, painting, cleaning out things end-to-end, fixing stuff. I had ignored it all for so long. Now so much has been done, and it’s more fun living here!
My recollections inform my aspirations. So, I plan to keep on writing, to keep on remembering that sometimes you need to take a break and do something very different than your normal routine, to keep on being okay with being interrupted to help someone, to keep on soaking in the beauty that each day offers, working hard, getting tired, and being thankful.
See what the other writers had to say on the topic.
- Done With Religion – Looking Back, But Moving Forward
- Mark Votava – Learning to Love: Crossing a Decade of Rootedness
- Tara at Praying on the Prairie – A Year of New Beginnings
- Carol Kuniholm – Looking Back, Praying Forward
- Mary at lifeinthedport – roaring chickens: how i found my voice
- Moments with Michelle – The Year that Was: Looking Back at 2014
- Jeremy Myers – What I learned from almost following my GPS to my death
- Michelle Torigian – Looking Back at All the Stuff
- Fedex at His Urban Presence – A Year of Changes
- Charity at His Urban Presence – God is There