I spoke about my friend yesterday who passed away now almost 26 years ago. He was a good egg to borrow from my mother-in-law. My favorite memory was him and his then-girlfriend, his brother and his brother’s wife, my wife, and I canoeing on the Blue River in Indiana near Cincinnati. You would put into the river, canoe down for the afternoon, and then they would bus you back to your car. We packed lunch and canoes all day down the river. We had fun floating and talking. We also had fun racing, trying to move our kayaks faster and faster. It was one of those days that was special. You remember days like that forever, and I still do, as does my wife.
I realize looking back that I have lost many friends over the years. I have lost family members as well—each of the losses put into a different box in my heart. Sometimes, because the tables are not sealed, the wrong movement will pour the contents of the box into my heart. It does not hurt as much now to think about my grandfather being gone. It still hurts a bit, but not as much as it did. I can generally review the memories and nearly put the box back quickly. Yesterday I found an old Seattle newspaper article from my friend. That was a little harder to shake off. The memories that I hadn’t thought about for many years began to flow again, and it made me sad.
But the reality for us as humans is that we carry on what was. We are the vessel that continues those who were with us in the past. We are the memories in our little heart boxes. It is, I know harder, the more boxes you have. I know that as I knocked over a table yesterday. Today I’ve gotten the memories contained, the sadness isn’t flowing, but I also had to reach up and put the memory box back into its shelf in my heart. For a moment in opening my inner door, I found myself remembering all the boxes. Each one of those boxes represents a person who reached out and connected with me—friends, family, teachers, each of them a box in my heart of memories and thoughts. I gently closed the door and smiled; life brings us sad and happy things.
I remember the happy ones today!
This work is Copyright DocAndersen. Any resemblance to people real or fictional in this piece is accidental (unless explicitly mentioned by name.)