How could I forget?

I didn’t remember my anniversary this year. Somehow, that’s a victory of sorts after thirty-nine years of remembering every single one of them, twenty-two years after there was absolutely no reason to do so.

Maybe it was because my son had surgery and couldn’t come for Christmas, my first Christmas in thirty-eight years that he didn’t get the stocking I made for him, complete with the chocolate orange he now expects.

Maybe it was the absence of my oldest grandson, the first of twenty Christmases that he didn’t spend time with his family as we gathered to celebrate without him.

Maybe it was the strain of watching my younger sister struggle with chemotherapy and surgery for breast cancer, knowing that her suffering is not yet at an end.

Maybe it was visiting my beloved oldest brother for the last time as the dementia that ravished his memories gave way to the effort of labored breathing that finally quieted as he broke the veil that separated him from the confines of his earthly body.

Maybe it was just time that I stop remembering.

Or maybe this is a reminder that no pain can last forever. It can distract us from worthy goals; it can cripple us and prevent our living the lives we were meant to live; it can make us bitter or resentful; it can make us doubt the good intentions of those around us. Or it can remind us that we are alive, and as long as we breathe, there is always the hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

I didn’t remember my anniversary this year. I think that’s a good thing.

Forgetting

11 thoughts on “How could I forget?

  1. Susan Kaye

    What is there about those chocolate oranges?!? Are they laced with crack or something. All my family looks for them now. AND, they ran out of the orange flavored ones so there was that to contend with.

    And Gayle, forgetting is a blessing in my book.

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    1. Gayle Mills Post author

      Yep, Susan, the chocolate oranges are definitely a once-a-year treat. I even tried to order them online — no luck. They’re only available at Christmas. I start looking in November. As soon as they go on the shelves, I get a complete box full. They never make it to any kind of reduced price.

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  2. Laura Hile

    I was so sorry to hear the news of your sweet brother, and also of your sister’s brave battle.

    You are right to forget pain and embrace hope. And short-term memory loss can work in our favor, right? I recall being hurt by a comment, either about me or my work. And at the time I thought: “Don’t think about it. Not one thought. You have way too many things to do today, and by tonight you will have forgotten this.” Sure enough, even now I cannot remember what was said or who said it. Short-term memory loss? Snap!

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    1. Gayle Mills Post author

      I try to forget unpleasant things like that, too, Laura. There’s no need to invite that kind of festering wound into your life. I suppose we’re blessed that we’re healthy enough to lead full, busy lives. Between school responsibilities and church obligations, I have to look for nights to rest and recoup. Anyone who would criticize you or your wonderful writing doesn’t deserve a minute of your time.

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    1. Gayle Mills Post author

      You got that right. I made the mistake of saying to my daughter today that this had been an awful Christmas. She was rightly offended. What I should have said was that having her and the kids here, watching them open presents after our Jin-Jin take out meal, was the best part of this Christmas. I guess it’s all about perspective.

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  3. Donna B.

    To both Gayle & Robin…..you’re two of God’s reasons I was to stay in town for the holiday. You’ve been in my prayers and tried to cross paths with you at church yesterday to see how you were doing, but that didn’t happen. And will continue to pray for you both for your sister, that all will go well on this difficult journey. I’m a 14 year survivor by the Grace of God and hope that in His wonderful Mercy, she will be healed. Blessings, Donna B.

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    1. Robin Helm

      Thank you so much, Donna B. I love meeting with you any time. You always lift me up with your cheerful spirit. Layne will have her second surgery Wednesday, so please pray for her. Gayle and I also covet your prayers.

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Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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