As I get older I find that my memory is just not what it once was. I have friends that remember events with such detail that they can recite dialogue and date. Not me. I do well to remember much of anything in very good detail and often my memory of events does not jive with others who shared the same experience. It is frustrating not remembering things – which is why Christmas and special events like Christmas are so important. Holidays serve as memory landmarks that help us identify where we were and who we were with at those various special occasions throughout life. Just like I may need that exit sign to remind me where to go – I need Christmas and the holidays to remind me where I have been.
For me, memories of an event or times past come to mind as brief moments – as if captured with a camera. I may think of a moment with my parents or grandparents and it flashes in my memory as an image or multiple images. They are snapshots of my past that I have managed to retain in great detail. God willing – I will never lose those images for if I do – all ability to remember will be gone for good.
While home at Thanksgiving I had a unique experience capturing a real image that may very will serve as a way to remember this particular stage of our lives. Our grandson, Conner Jack, was at our house one evening when this very unexpected and, I promise, unstaged moment took place. I had gone out for a few minutes and upon returning noticed Conner looking out our front window. He had pulled the curtain back slightly and his little face was illuminated by a Christmas candle that had been placed in the window. In the background one could see the lights of our Christmas tree – the most remarkable image of a child at Christmas that I could imagine. I fumbled with my phone to pull up the camera feature and managed to get a couple of shots before Conner turned and knocked the candle from the window and, essentially, end the moment. Frustrated and certain I had missed my chance at capturing the moment, I walked into the house and let it be known to all listening how mad I was at my stupid phone camera. Thinking the pictures captured would be no good – I finally looked at the results and could not believe what I saw. Conner gazing out the window and the candle illuminating his face in a moment of what looked like complete Christmas wonder and joy that only a child could convey. I was ecstatic.
Moments come and they go. Most are unremarkable passing seconds that hold no significance. Christmas is one time of year when we tend to remember things a little better – probably because we want them to last forever. I would love for Conner Jack to stay a little boy always – but that won’t happen. He will grow up as they all do and will eventually be going to school and getting older and, well – living the life that God has planned for him. I can accept that. But, at least, there is a Christmas picture of him that will forever capture one moment at Christmas – one we will never forget.
Love, Steve and Lisa