Some linger longer
Some memories are more precious than others. Weaving the good and bad of life into the tapestry of our memories also reminds us that some memories linger longer than others. It's a funny thing, the way our synapses cling to some of them, even ones that we would probably not rank on our top ten list. Still, there they are, these precious memories that somehow linger longer than others.
Today we're remembering the birth of our son, Brian Eliot, born this day forty-three years ago. His life is remembered in a special way because a murderer's bullet took it from us on July 18, 2011. And, we have catalogs of memories. Today they bring a tear, and yes, a smile. Right now I'm a little overwhelmed by the little memories that linger in our lives daily, sometime imperceptibly. Harriet and I grin about them---
As a child Brian always commented on his eyebrowns, the hair above the eyes. He never got the distinction of "brows". The other evening Harriet was grooming me and asked if I wanted my "eyebrowns" trimmed. We paused and remembered. A slight but precious memory that lingers.
When he was a toddler he would often approach one of us, lift his hands and arms, and say "holdee mommie", or "holdee daddy". He wanted to be held. It happens often when we're driving around North Charleston, we'll see a car on a side street about to enter our lane of traffic. Both of us will say "holdee", wanting the car to stay put till we're past. Tiny things that stay with us!
How often toddler Brian would approach Harriet and ask for "teaf". It sounded like he was speaking in some foreign tongue and we couldn't figure out what he was asking for. Later we learned he wanted iced tea. One day recently we were in a local eating establishment and when they got to the drink order I asked for "iced teaf". Automatic, etched in my memory.
It only happens when we're on the beach, but it may be our favorite lingering language memory of our young son. We were in the Myrtle Beach area many years ago, I was preparing Brian for his first day on the beach and in the ocean. I warned him to be careful dealing with the Atlantic Ocean "undertow", that tidal force that draws us into the depths. From that day forward Brian thought there was an "undertoad", a mystical ocean creature that explored the shallows looking for some young legs to tackle and wrestle into the sea. Today, the whole family laughs and warns of the "undertoad". How it lingers.
And, there are many, many more. Right now I'm thankful for these few that bring a smile and remind us of the special child that blessed our lives in so many ways. And, I'm reciting the Apostle Paul's words to the Philippian believers---
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you...
Philippians 1: 3, ESV
And, I'm thanking our gracious God for our strong, beautiful, and accomplished daughter Elizabeth Hope Holmes Carpenter for giving us strength, hope, and encouragement as we reflect on these precious memories.
How they linger.