I will remember

My baby son sleeps on the floor next to me. I should be asleep, too, but I’m too full of wonder to sleep.

What will my baby son remember about his short first trip to Oregon? Probably very little.

But I will remember.

I will remember standing in the airport security line with him strapped to my chest. Realizing he is the same age my older son was when we flew north to say goodbye to my dying mom 4.5 years ago, and saying thanks that this time I flew for celebration, not farewell.

I will remember sitting in a hotel bathroom and whispering–so as to not wake the baby–about my brother-in-law’s first days of med school.

I will remember trying to wrangle my just-younger sister’s two kids in a strange city.

Running into my youngest sister in a parking garage as I tried to figure out how to collapse an overly complicated–at least to a sleep deprived, traveling infant mother–stroller. Running late to my brother-in-law’s induction to medical school, but deciding to stop for coffee anyway. Smiling at what the barrista wrote on my cups.

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I will remember walking into the auditorium and almost immediately spotting my sisters’ kids wiggling in their seats and the corridor. Being overwhelmed at all the joyous change that has taken place since my mom died just a few years ago. She would be so thrilled to see her many grandkids, and that her kids have in fact come to understand not only just how hard she worked raising four kids alone but how much joy there was in it despite the hardness.

I will remember pizza with family–some by blood, all by love–and thinking gloomy weather is worth enduring to be surrounded by this love every day.

I will remember walking across my old campus with my sister and our babies to meet The Ten Thousand Hour Mama, who was every bit as lovely as I’d imagined. Being picked up briefly by a Velvet Hammer shake, then crashing 30 minutes later and wishing I’d had something not sugary as well.

I will remember returning to find my dear friend Dana on my sister’s porch, and being surprised how right it felt for her to be here, 900 miles from the nearest-to-here place we have ever met before.

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I will remember talking and laughing with old friends, and how my heart sang when I said, “We didn’t used to have anyone else,” and my friend replied, “And now you have a tribe.” How she hugged me and called me her sweet, sappy friend when I started sniffling immediately at the beautiful truth of it.

I will remember visiting my mom’s grave with my baby, and feeling how much she would rejoice to see how deeply her kids love her seven grandkids.

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I will remember playing Cards Against Humanity with some of my favorite people on this earth around the kitchen table before crashing, too exhausted to think straight, only to awaken four hours later.

And I will remember typing this out on my phone with my baby asleep on the floor and Dana asleep on the couch just an hour before it’s time to leave this place.

I will remember, with every cell in a place deeper than images or words, how greatly I am loved, and how greatly blessed I am to love.

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  1. August 17, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Memories and those you make them with – that is what it is all about. Your words gave me goose bumps and those coffee cups made me smile.

    • August 23, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      I was a little grumpy when I woke up so early last Sunday morning, but now … now I’m glad I did, because these words catapult me right back to that place. That love. ♥

  2. August 17, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Love, Love, Love. There is something about specificity that translates what really matters in writing- how much very different experiences can resonate.

    • August 23, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      I still tend to think in big abstractions, but I’m trying to get down into the details in my writing. I think it’ll be a lifelong journey, but I intend to make it one I savor. 🙂

      • August 26, 2014 at 3:03 pm

        🙂 you know I have the same problem, but I think what you’re doing is great.

  3. August 17, 2014 at 10:30 am

    I feel so grateful to have seen you and your beautiful family in person—to have our worlds collide and collapse in Prince Pucklers of all places! xo

    • August 23, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      I feel exactly the same! I pull out my phone at look at pictures twice a day on workdays. Seeing our Prince Pucklers ones as I scroll through fills me with joy. Already I find myself looking forward to future convergences. ♥

  4. August 17, 2014 at 11:16 am

    “What will my baby son remember about his short first trip to Oregon? Probably very little.
    But I will remember.”
    When I read this I remember my mother remembering her first trip back home to Spokane and Portland from Mexico City with two little ones in tow, my older brother and me, 2 1/2 and 1 respectively. Of course, I remember next to nothing from experience, but I recognize where the photos were taken when I see the photos, who was in the photos, and the details of the train trip up there and back…all because she told us about it several times and I listened to every detail over time and put the pieces together.
    Beautifully written post about the “tribe” and home you visited. Thank you for sharing.

    • August 23, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      I love reading your memories, and wondering what little pieces Littler J will take with him into his older days. If nothing else, I sure do hope he recalls the same all-encompassing sense of love.

  5. nicciattfield
    August 17, 2014 at 11:50 am

    So lovely! Amazing how we learn to pay love forward.

    • August 23, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      I do wish I could pay it back, but since that’s not possible, paying it forward is a lovely alternative. ♥

  6. August 17, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    What magical memories. Memories to bank, and take out and warm your soul and heart with on the dark days.

    • August 23, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      I love how you describe things. Yes, yes, yes. So glad I will have the post to come back to if I can’t find my way back through memory alone.

  7. August 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    I am more grateful than you can possibly even know that I found you so long ago I can’t remember. When I read this, I wept. They were grateful and happy tears.

  8. August 17, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    You have your priorities right on missy. Its a HORRIBLE loss when people close to us cannot physically share in our joy because they are no longer here with us, but BELIEVE ME, they have their hands in all of it.. they see all, they share your joy, and they give you strength when you think you have no more. I hope you remember that too, sweetie.

  9. August 17, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Tears. So lovely, Deb. Thinking of you. xoxo

  10. August 17, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    This is awesome!! I love that you were able to make a visit home to make such special memories. I believe your mom is watching over your expanded tribe with more joy than you can imagine. I’m smiling from ear to ear for you!:)

    PS– Isn’t Cards Against Humanity a blast? 😉

  11. Jane
    August 18, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    How I love you, my dear!

  12. September 3, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I will remember may have been wrote pecking on a phone but it is one of my favorite posts of yours. It sustains happiness and love for me.

  1. December 30, 2014 at 12:12 pm
  2. March 31, 2015 at 7:47 pm

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