Tuesday, November 20, 2012

30 Days of Thanks- Day 19: Memories

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.  They must be felt with the heart." ~Helen Keller

Welcome back friends! It's Day 19 of my 30 Days of Thanks. Today I am thankful for memories. At this time of the year, when much of our family will get together to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am reminded of the loved ones who are no longer with us. My grandfather and my nanny were such a big part of our family and they are greatly missed. I think of them quite often and look forward to the day when I will see them again in Heaven. In the meantime, I have my precious memories to carry me through.

I grew up being around my grandparents on an almost daily basis. My grandfather was one of the kindest men I knew. He didn't have much, as far as money goes, but he would have given you the last dollar he had if you needed it. He suffered terribly with emphysema when he got older because of many years of smoking. He also ended up having Alzheimer's a few years before he passed away. That disease changed who he was. I try not to linger on those painful memories, but to focus on all the good ones I have of him. He was the first father figure I had in my life. If you'll remember from a previous post, I said that my mom got pregnant with me out of wed-lock. She was living at home up until she married my step-father when I was two years old. My grandfather was the only positive male figure I had in my life when I was little. It's been twenty years since he passed away, but sometimes it feels like just yesterday.

My nanny was such a spunky, little lady in those early years of my childhood. I loved that she wasn't afraid to tell you what she thought, and if you didn't like it, well, that was your problem. She was a short woman, but she wasn't afraid of anyone. I remember many times how she would stand up to my step-father when he was on one of his abusive, alcoholic episodes and my mom would take me and my brother and we would go to my nanny's house for safety. My step-father would come over there and stand outside crying and begging my mom to come back home. I can't tell you how many times he promised that he would never do it again if she would just come back home. Needless to say, he never kept his promises.

My nanny was a stickler for manners too. I grew up being taught, and expected, to use my manners. If I happened to answer her with just a yes, she would say, "Excuse me, what was that?" I sit here and smile as I remember how she would say that. It wasn't in an ugly, demanding way, but in a very firm, loving way. I would immediately say, "Yes ma'am." Unfortunately, Alzheimer's also stole her away from us in her later years. That disease left her being just a shell of the woman I remember her to be. I know one day, when I see her again, she will be that sweet, spunky lady I remember so fondly.

The years may come and go, and many of our loved ones may no longer be here with us, but they are still very deeply missed and forever in our hearts. If you know of someone who has recently lost a loved one, please pray for them, or send them a note to let them know you are thinking of them at this time of year.

Until next time my friends, be richly blessed by making wonderful memories with the ones you love.

"Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity" ~ Unknown

"There is a sacredness in tears.  They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.  They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.  They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and of unspeakable love." ~Washington Irving

"When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure."  ~Author Unknown

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