about the men i love... for the girls that are my world.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mindful of the Memories

The month of May. Not sparing on my emotions, that's for sure. It seems to be full of dates and events that spark a memory for me. Mostly unknown to everyone else of course. I once read somewhere (and forgive me, I'm sure I won't quote it perfectly) "When someone dies there are two dates that everyone else remembers, the ones on their headstone....but for the people that loved them what really matters is what the little dash in the middle represents...their life." It's amazing just how much that rings true. There was a lifetime of dates, and memories, to be remembered and lived out, through those that loved them.
May 4th, 2001, was the day that started it all.... Brian and I went out on our first date. He came to pick me up and was driving his moms car. I remember thinking that he looked handsome in his yellow plaid shirt :) We went to the Outback Steakhouse and unbeknownst to me, Brian listened and paid attention to how I ate (whether I smacked my food or not) before he asked me out on a second date. I guess my manners were up to par that night.
Now this year, 11 years later, on that date, I traveled to Topeka with our daughter. Not to celebrate the day that her Mom and Dad started a relationship of dating, but to honor her Father at the Governors Annual Fallen Officers Memorial Ceremony. That would not have been exactly what I had in mind, to celebrate an anniversary...
But none the less, that is where we are.
Of course Natalie's birthday brings a flood of memories back to mind. I remember it like it was yesterday (as any mom does). But now there are other little things that come to mind. Like the day after she was born when we were released from the hospital, it took forever to get discharged and by the time we were driving home we were both starving. Brian took us through the drive-thru at Taco Bell. I, of course, insisted on sitting in the back seat next to Natalie, who looked so tiny and barely fit into her car seat. I can remember Brian looking back at us in the rear view mirror of the Altima. He asked me what I wanted and then said "Natalie, can I get you anything??? Nachos? Choco taco for dessert?" It still makes me smile to think about it. After we got home I took a shower and when I came out into the living room after getting cleaned up Brian was asleep in the recliner, with the purple boppy wrapped around him and Natalie curled up next to him in one arm, and our little dog Willie on the other side. I went and got the camera to take a picture, but the memory card was full. What I would give to have that photo now....I should have deleted just one picture, but I didn't. Although, I guess it doesn't really matter.... No I don't have a hard copy to look at or show anyone else, but that image is etched permanently in my brain forever. And that will have to do.
This month ends with Memorial Day. I have always known what Memorial Day really was, other than just a 3 day weekend. But never have I appreciated the importance of it, like I do now. I know that is my fault, I should be thankful for all those who have served our country and community, and have paid with the ultimate sacrifice. And don't get me wrong.....I do thank them. But lets face it, it the reality of it changes when you tie it to someone that hits close to home. And I am planning on spending this weekend being thankful for all those who have given their life so that we can live the way we do. And I guess it's corny but I feel myself overwhelmed with exactly that on this Memorial Day weekend.... memories.
When you break it down, that is as simple as it is. All that we have that links us to our past. The good times, and the bad. They make you who you are. And you cling to them. I think it's somewhat instinct. I looked at Kate today and she was hanging on to me, to my finger, to my shirt, to her sisters hair :) So it makes sense that we hang on to what we've got. And hang on to the hope for more.