Memories... I'm sure that anyone who has ever grieved for someone they loved is well-acquainted with this phenomenon: seeing, hearing, or smelling something that vividly reminds you of someone, and provokes a smile, a laugh, or some tears. The past few days I had three separate instances happen.
Once was while Debbie and I were enjoying the beef soup at Los Primos. My dad was a great soup aficionado, and their soup is exactly the kind he would have enjoyed: a flavorful clear broth, big chunks of meat, and lots of vegetables. Thinking of him brought both a smile at the thought of how much he'd have enjoyed that soup, and choked me up with sorrow that it could never be.
While we were taking our Christmas tree down, we came across several ornaments that were made of cloth covered with small sequins. This instantly reminded both Debbie and I of a dear friend, Lois Warburton, who died far too young, almost 20 years ago, of pancreatic cancer. She loved sequins, and often wore sequined clothing along with her vast collection of sequined purses. That memory brought some tears, both for our loss and the manner of her death (pancreatic cancer is a cruel way to go, and more so 20 years ago than today).
Then just yesterday I was outside filling our bird feeders, and stopped for a few minutes to just stand and watch the bold (and probably hungry) little birds attacking the feeders just a few feet from me. That got me to thinking how much my mom would have enjoyed standing there with me; she'd have been smiling at the little things exactly as I was. That got me smiling even more...