I believe in never forgetting, never forgetting the sounds, sights, and feelings of friends, family and places that the passage of time so often turn into distant memories.
During certain parts of the day I will pause if just for a moment and return to those valley days growing up in deep South Texas where hot summer days gave way to cool breezy evenings. At times I would sleep with the windows open and listen to the musical love messages of chicharas deep into the night until they became a gentle whisper.
I remember my great aunt’s laughter, my grandfather’s fedora, and touching my great-grandmother’s snow white hair in wonder.
I remember Don Amador, an elderly man who had migrated from Mexico and helped my grandfather with his yard and would sip tea on the back porch.
And every time that I see a mother with her young son I remember my mother’s struggle to make a better life for us, going to school in the evenings to become a teacher and enrolling me in private school to ensure that the Catholic values she received as a little girl would extend to the next generation.
I remember the excitement of getting ready to return to school to see friends and the struggle to find a pair of pants that would fit me. I was tall for my age and chubby of course which always left me my mother and I with the only option in pants…Huskys.
I also remember school days as I grew older when my friends and I thought that work was only for adults and that are carefree days would as endless as the summer heat that we so enjoyed playing in.
But the passage of time can trick the mind into forgetting and if I am not too careful lose these experiences that in the end helped to shape who I am today.
As another year passes, it seems that the present becomes the past in a matter of moments if not a blur and so I focus even more on making sure that I don’t forget those beautiful shared moments that make it all worthwhile; like a soft touch or embrace, and peck on my cheek from my wife, or getting home and hearing my two-year old calling me to his room to play or to read to him.
These are indeed the beautiful moments in life past, present and future that I believe in never forgetting.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.