What I’m learning in the months and years that go by is how little I really know. This should come as no surprise to anyone, and it really doesn’t surprise me. It’s just becoming more and more pronounced as the days, weeks, and yes years go by. I am so often forced to ask where time has gone.
Memories are things that I have eluded to countless times in the blog, and they are for the most part so very real, fresh and vibrant to me. They come in dreams, or in the early hours before anyone else stirs. They come late at night when everyone in the house has fallen asleep and I’m left staring at the wall or ceiling, they come during my morning routine, or when I’m reading and talking to God. I have decided to not call it prayer for the simple reason that many times prayer to me seems a self serving act. To unburden myself of weighty matters, and then to make requests, threats and demands. Talking to God at least to me seems a different proposition all together. If done right talking to someone has give and take, and while I’ve never really heard God audibly speak to me, and quite frankly as I’m learning more and more about myself I don’t think I want to, I at least like the idea that I’m doing more than just filling up the space between here and heaven with words.
Anyway back to the idea of these memories, some are good some are bad, some bring joy many bring sadness, or self disappointment, or fill in the angsty word you may have. I think memories are there to teach us, I think they are there to sustain us, I think they are there to warn us. I know that they are not supposed to be a crutch or excuse. That’s the thing about memories, each and every memory is the result of a choice, and just as those choices can be good or bad so are the memories attached to them.
Memories are teaching me a lot these days, and while it’s hard to articulate exactly what those things are, it’s equally difficult to just ignore what is happening.
This all came to a head this morning sometime between 3:45 and 4:15, Jocelyn was awake again and J asked if I could try. I picked up my daughter and started to pat her back speak softly in her ear and just hold her close, I then moved to the chair that we have and pushed it back into a semi reclined position. It took about ten minutes but soon she was fast asleep on my chest, fully comforted by the fact that Daddy had her. I dozed off and on, waking to help her reposition and soothe her back to sleep. Around 6 AM I gave up on sleep entirely and just looked at my daughter, and wept. Not blubbering tears, not hard to breathe hiccuping as can happen when you’re totally wrung out, in fact there was not a tear on my cheek. I wept inside, because as we all know I don’t deserve what I have, none of us who are parents do. The pain and misery of years past much of which my choices have caused means I don’t get to have this life any more, at least it should. I have a beautiful family, I have a wife who loves me, for me in spite of and including my faults, I have three little girls who look at daddy, for now at least, as the coolest guy in the world, who try their best to impress me, who draw me pictures and say hey dad look. I have so much and deserve so little.
It comes down to this, what I’m learning is grace, the only problem is I’m not learning it from the places your supposed to learn it from, nor from the places that I wanted to have teaching me. I’m learning it at 6AM in the chair holding my youngest, weeping over all that I have lost because of my own anger, bitterness, resentment and desire for others to get what they deserve. Because as I sat there this morning I recognized that I haven’t gotten what I deserve at all, not by a long shot, I have gotten so much more.
Memories have taught me, or is it something better, is it God finally getting through to my thick skull. No he hasn’t sat down next to me and started talking in some Bruce Almighty moment, or has he. Has he been through my memories, and my family, and my friends, and yes even my enemies?
As the morning wore on I put Jocelyn back in her crib and went through the morning routine, and when I looked in the mirror after the shower I saw a much older guy than I remembered being there, and for the first time in a long time that was okay.
Would I change things in my past? Of course, we all would, but I wouldn’t want to lose the things that I have learned. I wouldn’t want to miss out on the people who were part of my life some for a day and some for a lifetime, no matter who they are.
Grace, who knew it would be more important to me than all those fundamental truths that I crammed into my brain.