How Moving Helps Fight Amnesia
IT IS NOT BECAUSE OF A LACK OF INTEREST that I have not been writing as consistently as I would like over the last month. While Erin and I are used to the regular moves that are part of being an itinerant Methodist clergy family, this time we have been experiencing the reality of moving with not only our stuff, but also that which belongs to our children. That makes this a whole new ballgame, to say the least. As such, I’ve had to prioritize a few things, and have not been writing nearly as much as I would like.
While sorting through all our ‘stuff’ in preparing for this move, one thing kept occurring to me over and over - this process of sorting though our things has helped me to remember so much that had simply, and understandably, slipped to the back burner.
I will not bore you with the intimate details of all the sappy sentimental stuff that I found, but I will say that I found so much that brought so many beautiful times and people to mind that I am so grateful those memories came back. It was good for the soul and body to laugh and to cry depending on the circumstance regarding the item in question. What was also neat was the idea that I was reminded of things that at some point I will want to share with my children as they have helped make me the man I am today.
Last year, I had the great fortune of my parents moving into a house they built right behind where we used to live in DeRidder. As part of their move, they brought, it seems, EVERY toy that my sister, Carolyn, and I had from our childhood. I must say it has been so much fun to rediscover so many toys that I had forgotten, and yet were SO much of a joy to me ‘back in the day.’ To see my own children enjoying those same toys in their own way is something I’ve really enjoyed, and I would never have had that experience had my parents not moved and emptied out their attic along the way.
This whole idea of moving also got me to thinking about what is it that we are missing with respect to our faith when we do not take the time to revisit those things from our past that have had an impact on who we are with respect to our relationships with others as well as our faith in God?
What blessings have we forgotten because we have not taken the time to reflect and remember?
What toys have we put in the attic and forgotten about, when there is so much joy to rediscover and to share if we but bring down the boxes (tangible and metaphorical?)
What is it that is consciously or subconsciously holding us back because we refuse to take inventory of our stuff?
Just a few weeks ago, while at mom and dad’s, I saw Anna playing with the baseball bat my grandparents gave me as a little boy. I have been convinced for 33 years that bat had been lost in our move from Lake Charles to Pittsburgh. (Thank the Lord that I still had my Vida Blue glove - which was so good I used it to play softball in college.) When I asked mom and dad where it had been all these years, my father looked at me with a look that only a father can give a son and said, “Under the stairs in the basement, of course!” In other words, it had been right under my feet all along.
What is right under our feet if we would only but take time to clean out - if not for a physical move at least for a spiritual or emotional move?
This year, I was not expecting a move at all. However, I am grateful that through the process of this move (and my parent’s before mine), I got in touch with so many special memories.