Monday, June 9, 2014

Memories

This post was initially drafted on May 16, 2014

After I got married and started a grown up life with a mortgage, a career (well that had started the previous year), and a husband, I would hear songs on the radio and get nostalgic about college life. Something by Jason Mraz, Matchbox 20, or Sting's "Fields of Gold" would bring me back to some incredible memories. My heart would ache, I would think of how wonderful that time was, and I would remember my college self...half wishing to be back in that time period and half understanding that these kinds of memories will always flood my mind---after all, in college I often reminisced about my senior year in high school and my high school job. It's what we do.




After I spent a few minutes reliving my past life, I would often wonder when I would start remembering moments from this time in my life. When will I hear a song, or pass a store, or see something that reminds me of now. What will it be?

That's kind of the beautiful thing about memories. We always wind up a little surprised by what brings them flooding back.



I never thought a drive on the freeway and taking a certain exit would do that for me, but it did. Today I had one of those memories. I have probably had some little ones that have taken me back to moments with Zach, but today it hit me hard.

I went to visit my mom at work and I took one of the two routes to get there. I chose this one because I had planned to stop and pick her up a treat on my way. As I got off on the exit--there it was. The memory just sat there, waiting for me, and it hit me right in the heart.

That drive. Zach and I made that drive five times the month before our daughter was born. Five freezing winter nights, in a truck with no heat because we had car problems, headed to our birthing class. Those nights were mixed with emotions. Excitement...that we were finally at the "birthing class stage" of my pregnancy. We were right there. Nervousness every time we'd leave that class--especially the first two classes where we were blessed with videos to conclude the evening. Worry--we were driving a real piece and it was cold...and there was no heat...we certainly didn't have it "together" enough to bring a baby home. What were we doing?



As we drove in the cold, my hands burried in my coat pockets, my mind went between feeling excited, ready, and prepared to the complete opposite. I would share my feelings with Zach and then revisit them again silently. I would sing songs to distract me.

We would arrive at our birthing class as the odd ones out. That much was clear from the parking lot full of Land Rovers and hybrids. Then we came bopping in in our two-toned '93 pickup--living the high life.

After class, we would drive home--you could see our breath in the air from the inside of the truck. Sometimes we'd stop for a treat on the way and sometimes we'd just head home to get this tired, pregnant girl to bed. Every time, though, we discussed class and always found something to poke fun at or laugh about on the way home.

Today as I rounded that corner, I looked back on our life as "two before three" with that same ache. Not from sadness that it's not the same, but happiness that it happened at all. Blessed that it happened. Crappy truck and all.

What brings back memories from you? Do you ever feel surprised the first time a memory hits?

10 comments:

  1. I don't have a memory to share (though I have plenty that come from certain songs, drives, etc) BUT I smiled at you describing how cold your truck was and thinking, "How can we bring a baby home if we don't have it together!?" because in February, when I was still in my first trimester, was when our heater broke. And it was in the negatives all week and naturally, they couldn't replace the heater for something like FIVE long days. I remember coming home from work one afternoon and the house was at 38* inside. Seriously. I turned on the stove, our little space heaters and bundled up on the couch, shivering and thinking, "We are now going to have a baby and we are going to bring them home to THIS!? We need to get our crap together!" (Mostly I was thinking about the fact that we currently live in the trailer on grandma's property, moreso than the heater I knew we would have fixed before baby came). Funny how we think those things and then we have baby and everything is right with the world.

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    1. I know I say this all the time, but I seriously wish you lived closer. I love how you can relate to my not having it all together feelings. Yes, if you could only see this truck, Rach...no joke. It is something else. We've been blessed with two working cars now,

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  2. Ah, I love sweet memories like this and the surprising things that bring them on!!!

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    1. I love the things that surprise you about a memory. It's honestly so cool how our minds and hearts seem to work together :)

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  3. Being back in my college town always hits me with memories I thought I had forgotten!

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    1. I live only about 30 minutes away from where I went to college. My poor husband probably hears the same stories each time we go into town. It's funny how the same landmarks often bring up the same stories. I love those memories, though!

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  4. Hey, I stopped over from Lauren's blog and I love this post!
    My heart would ache, I would think of how wonderful that time was, and I would remember my college self...half wishing to be back in that time period and half understanding that these kinds of memories will always flood my mind
    This is so me all the time. My husband and I talk about it a lot and I think he thinks I'm a little crazy for how much I reminisce. It's only because being a mom is hard, and being in college - in retrospect - seems like it was so easy and carefree.
    The last time I was talking to my husband we decided that when we reminisce we only remember the good and forget how hard those times were. For example, now that we've been married we don't spend a single second of our day worrying that we won't find the right person for us, or that we'll live alone for the rest of our lives, which is something that, when we were single, we feared constantly.
    On the other hand, my husband has a friend who would really like to be married and just hasn't found the right girl yet. It's been hard for him, so I just reminded him that we often look back on our singles lives and miss it, so to live it up and enjoy it while he can!

    Whoa. sorry for the novel and thanks for the post.

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    1. It's true. I only really hold onto those amazing/fun memories. And it's never that I really want to go back--I think it's more of a fear of forgetting. It's hard for me to let go of that, becasue there are things from my college life that my husband never saw...if that makes any sense. There are things about that college girl that I miss (like my weight and how healthy I was :) that I'd love for him to get to know. I also feel like I was more vibrant because there were fewer worries. Love in all forms tends to bring a sense of responsibility and weight. Once I met my husband, my worries multiplied. Becoming a mom...forget about it. Worrying about my own broken heart in college was way easier than worrying about the two greatest loves of my life (my husband and daughter).

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  5. I love this, Sharlee! One of the things that I love most about your blog is that you really write beautifully - it isn't a haphazard post; there is so much thought and love in your writing and it really shines through!

    Sometimes I love nostalgia but sometimes it makes me so tender that I try to push it away even though I know that isn't the best thing to do (like thinking about my dad). Car rides do the same thing to me - especially driving by my old high school or driving down the valley to where my dad used to live. Smells do it to me to. Or even food... Whenever I had doctor appointments when pregnant, afterwards Chris and I would have Panda Express for a lunch date... well, the other day we went on a lunch date to Panda and it was so weird to not have a pregnant belly while there! And I couldn't stop thinking about all the times we went there and talked about hearing her heartbeat or learning about her growth. I don't think I'll ever eat at a Panda again without thinking about those talks!

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    1. Wow, what a compliment, thank you!

      Although I cannot relate to the pain of losing a parent, I do relate to what you are saying. All of my grandparents are gone now and there are times memories hit and I do push them away. Especially since JaiseAnn's birth, I've noticed that stories that come to mind that I would normally tell Zach, I try to push away before I even fully remember them.

      And I think the pregnancy memories are so powerful. I had an incredible experience that I want to share in a blog post, but I can't quite find a way to put the words together to explain it. Someday I hope to!

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