Last week I wrote of the recent road trip to visit family. One evening I joined my parents, sister and niece for dinner at a favorite Mexican restaurant in downtown Auburn. It’s right close by the old gold miner. And it was the last place I ever took my grandparents before Papa died.
The place had not changed… same table, same chairs, same corner where the three of us sat. I could visualize us eating what we always ate. Enchiladas.
It’s funny how some experiences stay wrapped around you. They hold tight with an invisible thread, stronger than anything man can make.
Kind of like those phone calls from sons away at war. Satellite beams not seen or felt brought me voices I love from places called Balad, Fallujah, Taji, and a nameless mountainside in Afghanistan. For those few moments I could almost relax and believe they were safe… as long as they stayed on that phone. We didn’t always have a lot to say. There was a lot they could not say. Just hearing them breathe was good enough.
Long ago when the boys were small and the husband and I were trying to keep a business afloat (which eventually sank us), I closed the doors early on a rainy Sunday. I rented a video, drove home thinking of piles of laundry and fought the guilt of being away so much. But honestly, I just wanted to take a nap.
I walked into a neat living room…which was the first surprise. And cooling on the kitchen counter were six, individual sized lemon meringue pies, made from scratch, by my two oldest sons… the second surprise.
The movie was popped into the machine and I remember nothing until I woke up two hours later. Laying on my side, my feet were on my oldest son’s lap. One boy was sound asleep above me, lying mostly on the back of the sofa and partially on my shoulder. My youngest son, who literally grew up to be a “mountain of a man”, was small enough then to curl up in the spot created by my bent knees. And another boy sat on the floor directly in front of me, as if on guard.
At risk of sounding too mushy whilst talking about sons, I felt absolutely loved and happy and that I had to be the luckiest woman in the world.
Sometimes I wonder if I invent or embellish memories. But this particular one came up at a family dinner recently. My oldest son remembered. He said he always sat at that particular end of that particular sofa. He remembered the pies because he had to whip the egg whites by hand with a fork… which doesn’t surprise me. He couldn’t find the beaters for my hand mixer. And when he decides to do something he always finds a way.
Simple moments of life lived…
Memories to treasure…
And they didn’t cost much… just time… just love.