Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Memories....Living Forever

There are times in our lives when we miss being a child. We will smell something or see something that takes us back to our younger days. For many of us that means before illness. We remember jumping rope, kickball, cutting grass,walking to school, helping our mother in the kitchen, helping our father work on his car,  and on and on. Sometimes these memories make us happy. Sometimes they make us sad. It's as if remembering takes us to a place where we were carefree and things were easy.  At the same time we know we can't go back. We know that those memories are all we have of the carefree years. Some illnesses threaten our memories as much as they threaten our bodies. I do all I can to remember. I think forgetting scares me more than not walking. I need to be able to connect with my past. I need to be taken back to the times when I didn't have a care in the world.

I wasn't a mama's girl. My mom was a business woman and very serious about her children and how they were raised. She hugged and kissed us but she always pushed us back into the game. I love her so much for that. She just didn't want us to be quitters. I can honestly say, none of us are. My dad was a different story. If mama said NO, we just smiled because we knew daddy would say YES. To our friends that was backwards, but to us it was just right. Daddy was laid back and fun and funny and had a huge heart. Mama was fun as well, but she had very defined boundaries.

The other day I was watching my boys play and i thought about their grandfather. I imagined what he would be doing if he were here with them. I cried. I didn't cry for him because I know he is where I want to one day be. I cried for my boys because they don't have pawpaw to play with, share stories with, teach them things only a pawpaw can teach. The older boys remember him but my 5 year old was born 5 months after he passed.

Whenever I think about him or anyone that I love that has passed, I tear up a little. My tears are never for them however. They are for me. I think of all the things I miss about them. Then I remind myself that those memories are so valuable yet priceless! I am determined to hold on to them. At the same time I am determined to make sure my kids have wonderful memories of me as well.

I told my husband years ago, "I do not want them to remember me in this bed!" That is very important to me.
I just do not want them to look back on their lives and associate their mom with being bed ridden. So I make sure to just get up everyday. Even if I only make it to the couch in my bedroom. I sit there. I watch TV with them. I talk to them. I teach them. I listen to them. All from that couch. As long as I am participating in their lives, we are all happy. Some people tell me that I need to stop homeschooling them so that I can rest. I have to explain to them that my spirit was moved to homeschool my kids 12 years ago and I will stop when my spirit is moved to do so. It is one of the most important things that I do. I have graduated two sons from homeschool and they are wonderful. One went straight to work. The other works and goes to college full time. It is a blessing to be able to teach my kids. It keeps my memory sharp as well.

I am not going to pretend that I don't have days where I just want to roll over and sleep all day. I am sure perfectly healthy people feel that way sometimes. I am saying that each day is an opportunity to make memories. Each day that we will never see again offers us promise to make the day matter.

I am sure my dad didn't think he was making memories when we were kids. He was just being our dad. My mom was making sure we would be solid, productive, loving, honest people. She wanted that to carry us through our lives. I know she is proud, love you Mom!!! The point I am making is this....We have to utilize the time we have here and make memories that will get us through and give our loved ones something to connect with once we are gone.

I don't want my legacy to be more illness than life. I want illness to be a footnote on my book of life. It may even get a mention in a couple of chapters. It will not be the whole book. I have given up enough to being sick and I am determined to hold on to my memories and give my loved ones memories to hold on to.

Make everyday count. As long as we have breath in our bodies and people that need us, we have a chance to live forever through the memories we make today.


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