Spending a little time in my brain...


Last night, when walking from my office to the train to go home, I was zoning out in my own little world, when I smelled a fire burning in a fireplace. It was an incredible smell, and it instantly transported me back to a different time and place--back to Vicksburg to our old bonfires. Back when we were growing up, we were known in town for our giant bonfire parties. We lived on a hill and away from many other houses, and at the bottom of our big hill, we had a huge firepit. This firepit got used quite a bit. We would have a fire whenever we cleaned all the branches and sticks out of the yard when Dad was going to mow the lawn. We had a huge New Years Eve party every year where we would drive around town and collect the Christmas trees that people had thrown out for the trash collector--these would be our greatest treasure! We would burn them one after another all night, and the smell of burning pine and the warmth of a fire in the dead of a Mississippi winter was like nothing else. Dad would be the Master of the Fire, often smoking a cigar and wearing flannel. Oh, such fun we had.

The night we graduated from WCHS, a bunch of us took out our agressions on my extra choir dress but writing on it in sharpie and setting it on fire. That baby went up in flames and was gone in about 20 seconds.

I have tons of pics of all the people who came to our house over the years, even when our heyday started to fade. Mom and Dad moved from that house, the house we grew up in, when I was 19. The city moved our little tiny house that hosted years of memories of a close knit family of four to a different lot down the street and bulldozed the hill that Christopher and I spent hours, days, weeks, months and years of our lives playing on.

I teared up a little bit when I had this memory, but pushed the tears out of my head. But it got me to thinking about life and everything. How nothing is permanent and we have to keep pushing on. It is really easy to resent the things in our pasts and to get caught up in our problems, but it takes a stronger person to learn from the past and experiences and use them to help with each day of the present. Not to say I am the master of this--I get so overwhelmed sometimes I just have to lie down and hide--but I think I am getting better at it each day. I always used to say "If I had 2 wishes, my 2nd one would be..." because my first wish was always that Dad didn't have cancer. Now, I can say that my #1 wish would be that Dad was still here. Oh, what fun that would be! Mom wouldn't be sick and things would be so much better, but I know that that isn't what the plan was supposed to be. And I accept that, although I am not "ok" with that. The other day, even, I saw something and instantly thought "Oh Dad would love this!" and then was just sad when reality hit. But you know what, I feel like now that we've been through that pain and experienced that loss, everything else seems so trivial. The rules have changed. I am less afraid of taking risks, because I know I can handle things. I can throw away things from high school and college, because those things are gone. I am far less sentimental about things than I used to be, and I am ok with that. As Christopher says "A memory should be a thought and not a keepsake" and in this current house purge, that has been an inspiration. I am happy to say that I have thrown away a number of old meaningful things. And I feel good about it. Even though right now, my life is pretty mundane and I have no news to report (except for the fact that poor little Latte has kidney disease and we have to give her liquid meds daily through an iv--a process that is a little more than vaguely reminiscent of the process of administering chemo), I am happy that I am able to get through each day, even when the days are challenging and the daily chores of life sometimes get backed up and overwhelming.

This is random, but it is sticking in my head. Last year, Dad's birthday was Easter Sunday. This year, mine is. I feel like this means something. Any ideas? It makes me pretty emotional when I think about it. I know I should start going to church again, but this idea also makes me emotional and apprehensive. I feel like I am better capable of dealing with crisis and hard times than accepting love, forgiveness, and hope. Those things sound so foreign to me.

This all might not make any sense, but it has been floating around my brain, so it is good to get it out.

Anyways, it is a blessing to be able to have memories--to relive moments of our pasts, to smile, to cry. But there is not healthy to dwell there. Instead we must take those memories and experiences and keep walking. Otherwise, we might miss our train.


Erica-So glad you found our blog. It is great to hear from you. I have been reading yours and catching up with you. Sounds like life has been exciting and wonderful and sad all at the same time. Isn't that always the way. I was so sorry to hear about your Dad. We had no idea. I can remember him at your bonfires and how much fun he had, just like all of us! I loved the pictures from your wedding, you were/are stunning! Keep in touch!

Thanks, Jennifer! I love that we have reconnected!