Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How My Dad Taught Me to Make a Memory

This blog is often my way of recording the things my children say or do. I want to remember everything, but I know as time passes I will forget so much. I have already forgotten so much, it makes me sad. The kids will say remember the time, or ask me a question about a time they can't recall, and I have no idea what they are talking about. But those special moments? The ones you want to preserve forever, but aren't moments when you are waiting with a camera in hand? My dad taught me how to keep those.

One time, when I was a very little girl, my dad and I were walking on the beach. I can't remember exactly what trip we were on, but to the best of my recollection it was the time we went to the Jersey shore with our Foster cousins. I was really small, and he was holding my hand. He had been helping me jump in the waves, and I was having the best time. I looked up at him and told him I was having the most fun and I wanted to stay there forever. My dad sat down in the sand, and pulled me up on his lap and said, "Do you know how  to keep a memory forever? You look all around you, and then close your eyes and put that picture in your memory. Make sure you get the whole picture. Then remember how you feel right that minute. That way you are keeping the picture of that moment forever."  He told me that he did that all the time because he didn't want to forget anything.

Even as such a little girl I knew this was important advice.  I memorized what he said, and right in that moment, I made a picture of that memory. I can still feel the way I felt in his arms, all safe and happy. I remember the ocean. I also clearly recall thinking that I should remember what it felt like when he picked me up, because probably soon I would be too big for him to pick up anymore, and I really liked it when he picked me up. From that day on, I have tried hard to create those memory pictures. I look around, savor the moment, feel everything that moment has to offer, and I try my hardest to memorize every detail. Some of the memories I have stored away are so, so precious to me. The first time I danced with my husband. The first moment I realized I was going to have a baby, each time. The moment I saw each of their little faces. The times when they were so sick and needed me. Those first smiles when you really fall in love with your baby.

I'll never forget the day I became an aunt. It was such a special day. I was so, so thrilled. I can remember holding my tiny niece in my arms, her poor mama all pale and exhausted, too tired to know or care who had invaded her hospital room. I remember how she smelled, and exactly what she looked like. I can remember the look on my brother's face.

My dad probably doesn't even remember that conversation on a beach so many years ago. Our family has been blessed with many, many delicious moments, and I will always be grateful that my dad taught me how to make a memory I could keep forever in my heart. It's my most invaluable skill.


  1. Such a sweet memory and a reminder to savor my days. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Beautiful post! The story about what your dad taught you brought tears to my eyes. What a precious memory and now, because of the blessing of blogging, it is preserved forever! :-)

    God bless,


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