Especially this time of year, memories get talked about. With each new threat of a blizzard or speculation on weather come Girl’s State Tournament time, many of us will recall that rare May snow or, as my dad always likes to remember, the whole winter of ’36. (And trust me, no matter how bad it is today, it can’t compare to ’36).
Memories are an important part of our being. We take pictures of things so we can be blessed again each time we remember. We make little marks on a door frame to measure the kids’ growth each year on their birthday. Those special family vacations or perhaps honeymoons taken in special places are memories that we mentally store and always cherish.
A little girl went to stay with her grandmother for a summer week. On the day her mom came to the house to pick up her daughter, she found both daughter and grandmother hard at work in the kitchen with aprons on, the kitchen a mess and flour smudged on her daughter’s face and in her hair. The child’s mother laughed and asked what they were creating. The little girl excitedly replied “We’re making memories, Mommy!” The grandmother smiled that wise smile of an elder.
Memories play an even more important role when we get older. They are one of the primary ways we can engage each other. At the Lutheran Home, memories are one of our specialties and part of our relationship and practice of care with each other. Far from sad, they bring joy and peace. What a blessing to remember not only special events, but also the things you learned from earliest childhood. It is a special joy for a pastor to engage even the frailest or most memory-challenged individual by simply praying out loud the Lord’s Prayer or singing a favorite hymn. Families sit contentedly around photo books reliving old times. It is a joy and often therapeutic for old soldiers and sailors as they share stories of their time in the service. By it, they not only share, they teach the price of citizenship and put a value on freedom.
A modern summary of the times for many can be summed up in two words, “Life happens!” Yes, it does. Perhaps a better guiding thought as we go through is this, “Making memories.”
Your memory is one of God’s great gifts. Now, back to the winter of ’36.
Information provided by Rev. Max Phillips, Partnership of Perry Lutheran Home and Spring Valley Assisted Living, 2323 E. Willis, Perry, (515)-465-5342 or (515) 465-7500.