Nostalgia, that sentimental swell of memories that conjure up feelings and emotions of an almost forgotten time. Yes, over the last few weeks, there is something brewing inside of me. It’s hard for me to even put a finger on one event, because I’m sure there are several life events that are leading me to feel nostalgic, but there also seems to be another force that is beckoning me to reflect on memories of the past.
In less than a month my youngest son will graduate high school. He is the youngest of four sons, and is fifteen years younger than my oldest son. I was just shy of thirty six when he was born. All I could think of was, I would be so ancient, by the time he graduated high school. So it is….. Don’t get me wrong, I am loving and embracing the season Matthew and I are in. The wisdom that comes from life lived and appreciating with gratitude the blessings that God has revealed in our lives. Did I mention that we found out recently that we will be grandparents again? This will make grand-baby number five. I’m already praying daily for the new life that is being formed, even as I write this. Ok, here go the “ancient one’s” emotions.
Certainly, these life events are adding to the feeling of nostalgia. However, it seems to be following me everywhere. The way the breeze reminds me of a time from my youth, when I was exploring land behind my grandfathers business. He sold used cars and there was a dirt road behind his business that would lead to an area where they would take junk cars, that would be crushed and recycled. My friends and I would wander back there and find treasures in some of the old relics that were waiting for their doom. My boys would have loved my grandfather and his cool little Service Station. Learning to pump gas, and check oil. All the soda and candy a child could want and learning to play cards from Pappy. Not to mention sharing hot dogs while watching a Red Sox’s game in his office on a Saturday afternoon. So thankful for my grandparents. My grandmother planted the seeds of faith that live in me today. She taught me to sing and to bake and we won’t go over her teaching of manners. Oh, boy her teaching of manners. They were not perfect people, none of us are, but they poured themselves into me and that will never be forgotten.
It’s not just my grandparents that have been on my mind lately. It seems that everywhere I turn lately, there is a reminder of the seventies. The season that I grew up in. The very first album that was given to me at the age of eight, was one of Elton John’s greatest hits. I would hide in my bedroom and crank that album until I knew every word by heart. Just this past weekend Matthew and I went to see the new movie based on Elton John’s life. Wow, what a story. But can we talk about the music. It’s still a favorite. Thankfully we got to see him in concert a few years back. He didn’t disappoint as a performer or an artist. He hit the stage exactly on time. He poured everything into his music and then graciously and very genuinely thanked the audience as he lingered and performed an encore that lasted another forty five minutes. After the encore, he graciously stayed for autographs and pictures. It was evident that this was a performer that had learned from the tough lessons of his past, his youth, and was in a season of gratitude for coming out on the other side.
Last week my very best friend lost her mother. Her mother had such a tremendous heart for people. She was an amazing wife and mother. Her heart was for her family. As we celebrated her life, it has brought back so many memories of high school days. Michelle and I may or may not have been a little mischievous at times. Oh, Anna could get exasperated at our teenage craziness, but even when she scolded us, it was out of love. There was a time that someone gave me a puppy. Yes, a puppy. In making a long story short, I wasn’t allowed to keep the puppy. Anna took that crazy puppy in and loved that dog up and had him for years. Kind of like she took me in as a stray, giving me unconditional love and support. Thank you Michelle, for sharing your Mom with me.
So many memories. Not all of them are great. Some are crushing and suffocating if I ponder too long on them. As TobyMac sings in his song Scars. The lyrics are so true, “Scars come with Livin”. The reality is that life is messy. Life on this earth is also short. It’s not meant to dwell looking through the rear view mirror. I’m thankful for the glances back and thank God for the people He has put in my path. May we all live by those examples of love that we have been blessed with.