Tonight my son (Sam) and I were kicking the ole football around (soccer ball for you Americans). Walking back into the house the conversation went like this:
S: What do you want to do now?
M: I don’t know, what do you want to do?
S: Let’s go for a ride
M: Like just ride around
So we went for a ride … with the windows down. We talked some, listened to a little music and just drove around looking at stuff. It reminded me of a Seinfeld bit where he says he is finally going to answer the question women have been asking men for thousands of years, “what are men thinking about?” His response? “Nothing! We’re not thinking anything. We’re just walking around looking at stuff.”
Our little ride triggered some memories.
Most of you know of my special gift-curse-obsession with memories and nostalgia. Today was an interesting one.
Memory 1 – Kentucky late 1970′s-early 1980′s: When I was boy we didn’t always have AC in our cars. I have lots of fond memories of riding around as a kid with the windows down. Tonight I was reminded of those rides on the way back from my Mamaw’s house (that’s grandmother for you northerners). It was usually early evening, with the sun just starting to going down. We would be exhausted from having played with our cousins and so the feel and the sound of the wind running through the car was so relaxing. Tonight it had that same feel. It was really so relaxing and wonderfully nostalgic.
Memory 2 - Texas 2008: One of the songs I have on my iPhone is “Holiday Road” by Lyndsay Buckingham. It was the theme song from “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (that’s a popular movie from the 80′s for you youngsters). I have seen this movie dozens of time but now whenever I hear this song or see the movie it reminds me of a time that I watched it in Texas. It was with 2 of the pastors from the church (David Berryhill and David Savage) and was one of the funniest nights I can remember. Berryhill made dinner for us and we were in a very silly mood. We laughed so hard at this movie we were crying, literally crying. I remember not being able to breath at one point. It was just one of those nights where we were primed to laugh and everything was magnified. What a great memory.
Memory 3 – Philippines/Tennessee 2008-2012: I was looking to clear out some old email from my account today and started by sorting through the messages with the largest attachments. I found some emails that Angeline had sent me from the Philippines. They contained pictures she had taken of the little girl we were supposed to adopt (here’s the story). I knew what they were before I opened them, but I wasn’t really prepared for my reaction to them. The second I opened the first picture, it was like someone punched me in the gut and I immediately felt like crying. My reaction was a mixture of hurt and anger. Not just because this thing we hoped for, for almost 4 years didn’t happen, but that it still bothers me so much. During our ride with windows down, it dawned on me that maybe I’m not supposed to get over it. I prayed for this little girl every day for 3 years. I prayed she would have a good day at her school, I prayed she would feel loved and valued. I prayed we would all be ready for the day we became a family. Then I just stopped.
Maybe the anger and hurt need to be transformed into a burden to pray for her again. Not necessarily every day, but on days when something reminds me of her. Maybe this is God’s way of involving me and ultimately bringing healing. Going to ponder that some more.
Memory 4 - Tennessee Summer 2013: I have a feeling that this car ride, and hopefully others like it, will become a memory that I can come back to years from now. Sam (9) is at this age where he is still very much a little boy, but at times we catch a glimpse of what he may be like as he gets older. He seemed so old in the car tonight as we drove around and talked about various things like cars, music, soccer etc. We’ve taken loads of car rides where we talked about stuff or listened to music. This was just a really interesting one with a conversation where we talked, as friends, about … stuff. It made me look forward to where our relationship might go as he gets older.
I’m feeling very blessed tonight.