Tag Archives: memories

Memories

Today my sister and I attended the Kever Avot Memorial Service, a service held during the High Holy Days.  There were moments of sadness, but also moments of comfort in the prayers, the melodies and the sounding of the Shofar.  I am not a particularly religious person, but I do enjoy the cultural aspects of my heritage and the feelings evoked by the familiarity of blessings heard my whole life.  Maybe the comfort and the feelings I get are my religion.

Today, sitting at the cemetery with hundreds of other people, we remembered our parents and other family members we have lost and of course Gary was at the forefront of my mind.  The service was a time for reflection and meditation and I was lost in my own thoughts.  I thought of the time that has passed, it has been 18 years since my dad died, almost 10 years since my mom died and almost 2 1/2 years since Gary died.  Time that has flown by and stood still at the same time.  Memories ingrained and memories tragically fading, but all the while, I hold on to the traditions I grew up with and tried to instill in my own children, attempting to find ways to pass the feeling of comfort to my children and granddaughter.  Holding on to traditions and vocalizing memories are what keep our loved ones alive in our hearts.  I was particularly moved by this poem by Rabbi sylvan Kamen and Rabbi Jack Reimer:

 

We Remember Them

In the rising of the sun and in its going down,

We remember them.

In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,

We remember them.

In the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring,

We remember them.

In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer,

We remember them.

In the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of the autumn,

We remember them.

In the beginning of the year and when it ends,

We remember them.

When we are weary and in need of strength,

We remember them.

When we are lost and sick at heart,

We remember them.

When we have decisions that are difficult to make,

We remember them.

When we have achievements that are based on theirs,

We remember them.

So long as we live, they too shall live,

For they are now a part of us,

As we remember them.

Memories are difficult things to pin down and control and mine surprise me by showing up unexpectedly, a favorite song playing, a scent wafting in the air, places visited and never-ending thoughts about what could have been and what I miss so much.

 

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Filed under death, Family, grief, Life thoughts

Who we were, who we are, who we will be…

There will be emotions in yoga, my teacher quoted tonight, that emerge within the body during our practice, and rise to the surface.  Feel them, let them out.  Do not try to suppress them.

We were children, innocent and curious, filled with hopes, dreams and unrealistic fantasy expectations of the image of a future life.  We read books and believed that anything was possible.  Magic, princes on gleaming white stallions, superheros, pots of gold at the end of the rainbow and mysterious identities.  We dug in the fresh beach sand trying to reach China and bobbed over waves and learned to dive under them.  We imagined the trickle of a garden hose on an asphalt driveway was a river and magenta berries were food in a forest.  We ran out to play and stayed out until dinnertime, later until curfew, 10:00 p.m.  We rode our bikes down to the Boulevard shopping at the Five and Dime, and the corner Drug Store with its rows of candy.  Watermelon Jolly Rancher Candy Sticks were my favorite. We believed in everything and anything was possible.

The emotions arise from the disbelief that enters when all dreams do not come true.

We are adults filled with responsibilities and obligations screaming at us and visions just out of reach.  Dreams bubbling under the surface, ready to burst out if only they are given the chance.  We keep normal hours and go to normal jobs, while plotting elaborate escape plans.  Holidays are celebrated annually and traditions are created and maintained.  Our families grow, expand and contract.  We make many acquaintances tied to our children’s activities, elementary schools, middle schools and high schools.  Then our children go away.  To college, to live, starting their lives and acquaintances drift off leaving a circle of close friends and family  unaffected by the changing circumstances.

When we breathe, slowly, deliberately, inhale.  Hold.  Exhale.  Hold.  Vocalize.  Ah.  We release the trickle of emotions.  The river of stress and the waterfall of tears.

We will be walking on the path, our path, of realized accomplishments, adventures planned and spontaneous, connections and re-connections.  We walk together with partners and sometimes with children, and we walk alone.  We will hold onto dreams and see some realized in another form, at another time.  We look at the collections of life as a to-do list of expendable items.   We will look back through tears and faded photos chronicling a span of time that in the grand design is just a blip, but to us, is everything.

The body, mind and Spirit, in the union of motion, stillness, sound and breath gives us the gift of a glimpse within and the ability to, for a moment, ignore what is outside of us.

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Filed under Life thoughts