Someone once said that life brings tears, smiles and memories. The tears dry, the smiles fade, but the memories last forever.
I happen to have a selective memory. It’s a good defense mechanism for me to forget about some of the not-so-good times in my life. The problem with that is some of the tiniest treasures can be packed away with those difficult events.
My oldest daughter recalled one of those exceptional moments for me just the other day. She has been blessed with an amazing memory and can recall the tiniest details. We were talking about a time in our lives as a family when things were rather bleak.
My husband was trying to start his own business. We had just invested in our first house, had two small children, lots of medical bills and very little income. He took a second job as a security guard to help with the expenses and often didn’t get home from that job until the children were tucked in their beds.
My daughter talked about how he would come in to kiss them goodnight and tuck a piece of chewing gum under their pillows for them to find in the morning. Her memory of that was so vivid and either I had completely forgotten it or never even knew about it.
That simple memory turned into a tiny treasure that I will hold dearly in my heart from now on. It reminded me of the hard times we were going through, but it also brought to mind the love my husband has for our children and how he deeply regretted having to be apart from them in order to provide for them.
Memories are wonderful ways for us to look at the good things in life, but sometimes the bad things should be remembered. We learn from our mistakes. God places trials in our lives for a purpose. Taking the bad with the good isn’t such a negative idea. Putting the entire incident together shows us what made the memory so special.
We can try to hide from our past; we can cover our hurt by not talking about it or simply forgetting it; we might ease the pain temporarily by doing so – but everything that happens in this life has a purpose – even our memories – good or bad.
Thank you, Lord, for my life. Help me to treasure all that is presented to me during my remaining days and find joy in even the sad memories. Help me to know that you are totally involved in my life no matter what happens in it.