Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Dear Jayson

Do you ever have those moments in your childhood that you wish you could just keep in your pocket and pull it out and experience it whenever you need it, like putting on a warm comforter that your grandmother made on a cold day? Times when just think about it, and you feel warm inside even to your very soul and being? Those timeless moments when things are ok, that no matter what is happening in your life, you can call upon this moment for comfort and a way through the darkness?

At the end of the day, when all is said and done, and the physical trappings of the world are stripped away from us, the one thing that never leaves us is our memories.

I have lost everything several times in my life, and like Michael on the Journey Home with the Seven Angels, he is taught that dragging 2 suitcases behind him, one filled with clothing and the second filled with all the physical momentos of his life, that mean everything to him, are useless when the storms of life surround you and attempt to separate you from that which you are holding on to. Letting go of useless object is the goal when one has a spiritual awakening. We cannot hold on to the physical - we always have our memories, lest they be taken by sickness, disease or death.

In the process of the story, Michael learns that his memories are strong identifiers. And in the end Michael was able to let go of this things of his world and still retain his history and life through the memories he carried within his own heart and mind. And those memories helped heal the rifts and resentments and rough patches of his life.

Unlike you and many of our writer friends, I do not have a relationship with either of my parents. And I cannot tell you the last time I talked to my father, I don't remember the exact date, but I can tell you that he would not speak to me and he put my mother on the phone. That conversation ended in an arguement and silence has been the norm for almost a year.

What I can tell you about memory is this...My memories are all I have to bank on in my life. I hang on to the memory of people who are long since dead. I try and remember scents as they were when these people were alive. I know I remember places and I know that if I close my eyes I can return to those places in a moments notice.

My childhood was blessed by some really good family, the women of my life, until God in his wisdom took them from me, for what reason I know today, was to show me that everything I needed to know was given to me before I hit the fair age of 15. That I would be forced to understand just how deep that love extended into my soul and body. What my parents did to me and my brother happened because they did not know any better, from where they came from. It took me 38 years to get here Jayson.

In the past families did not deal with our problems then. To talk about it, gave it power and credence and importance, so silence and forgetting was the standard practice. When everyone else told me to forget, I tried with every fibre of my being to HOLD ON to the memories as I experienced them, because thoughout my life, they would be oases in the middle of my deserts of trouble and loneliness.

Resentments still exist in some people, that no longer exist in my life. Where anger has kept my family factioned and separated, is where I look for divinity and I hope in the redeemable qualities of each member of my family.

When life get to be too much and I am stressed to the point of breaking, or God forbid the drink, I must find a quiet place and I must get in touch with my breath, and I must stop, sit, close my eyes and remember those people and places that touched the depths of my heart.

Because you are on speaking terms with your father and you have a relationship with him, your memories will serve you well, when it seems the darkness is surrounding you. His body may fall apart, and he may not retain the shape and constitution of the man you once knew, but as the elderly man said to the orderly that day, "My wife may not know who I am today or any day because of her alzheimers disease, but I REMEMBER who she is!"

YOU WILL REMEMBER WHO YOUR FATHER IS, until you die yourself.

Hold on to all of those memories that you hold near and dear, for when you need them you will be readily able to call upon them, and there they will be, in the front of your brain. Recently I have found myself saying that "I envy your relationships," but I don't know what I could have done differently to change the circumstances that now face my life.

I have grown used to the fact that my parents and my brother and his family do not want to have anything to do with me, and there was a time when this ate me alive, today, I am ok with that. Because I know I have done my best, and I have followed my beliefs and I know that one day God will answer my prayers, and that answer may come at the time of my death, and for me, I am ok with that!

I HAVE my memories...

And that is good enough for me.


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