As I look back over the first part of 2020, my heart aches and my stomach clinches. Just thinking about March, April, May and June is enough to make my heart rate increase and fear and anxiety kick in. The only way I have made it through the first half of this year is by seeking God and trusting in His plan and realizing that time with family and friends is a gift that should never be taken for granted. Making memories and enjoying precious time together is priceless. It is often good memories and reliving those funny, unbelievable, touching and sometimes even old arguments that can get us through some very tough moments in life. Having that repertoire of love, fun and family to look back over might be a lifeline to some.
A few weeks ago, my parents took a fishing trip to a lake and campground that we used to visit every single year when I was a young girl. I was fortunate enough to be able to join them for a day and it was absolutely wonderful, both because I relived some old memories and made some new ones. As a child and teen, I was never the outdoorsy type. I much preferred reading and air conditioning to smelly fish, dead crickets and sunburns. Climbing into that boat with my mom and dad, I felt 14 again. Only this time, I soaked up every single moment and detail. Why, when we are young, do we completely miss what its all about? Why do we not realize that time with loved ones is more precious than any game or phone or meaningless triviality that we idolize at the time?
On this day I watched my parents in awe. They truly are two of the most amazing humans on the planet. My momma is so beautiful and so selfless. She always makes sure that everyone else has exactly what they need even if she has to go without. My daddy has such an amusing sense of humor and watching how very patient he was taking every single fish off of everybody’s hook made me realize how time has softened his rough edges and turned him into a refuge for those of us blessed enough to love him.
As I laughed with my parents and we relived old memories, I wondered to myself, “Have I made sure that my boys will have memories like this? Have I done my best to give them a base that will carry them through those inevitable rough patches they will encounter?” I pray that I have but I also know that I must continue to make more, to spend as much time as possible with them and encourage them to spend time with not only me and their dad, but also with their grandparents.
This week, my youngest and I were blessed to be able to spend a few days with my parents in Branson. We have talked, laughed, seen the sights, golfed, shopped, ate and just enjoyed being together. The best part has been watching my boy make those precious memories with his grandparents. As I watched my dad and my boy swinging golf clubs together, my heart was full and I made a mental note to treasure this time always. My mom and dad are still in good health but they are at the age when you wonder how many moments like this they still have. I have determined to make sure that we treasure each one. Each laugh, each visit, each tear I will store in my heart and in my memories and make sure that my boys do the same for it is these very moments that will push us through the tough times ahead.
As you go through daily life, make sure you take the time to write those precious memories on your heart. Thank God for pulling us through the tough days and thank him for his blessings. But always remember and teach your children and grandchildren that God has gifted us with families, and memories, and each other to make those tough times a little easier to withstand.
Charlette Madden is a Mother of 2, a Louisiana Tech graduate, a Financial Advisor and a Feature Writer for The Gazette. Contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org