Isn't it amazing the details a memory can recall?
As I climbed up my parent's steep stairs into the loft to grab this laptop to write my post on tonight, the sound of my feet on the squeaky stairs sounded so familiar. I knew that squeaky sound perfectly, recalling it from the days I lived at home and made my way up to the loft multiple times per day.
There's been lots of things like that, I've noticed.
When I first hugged my Mom at the airport when we arrived, I instantly became welled up with tears and said “You smell just like my Mom” as I nuzzled my misty eyes into her shoulder. I sniffed her again. “Oh, you smell the same! Just like my Mom!”
I realize now that may have been a weird thing to say. Obviously, she smells like my Mom. She IS my Mom. But I recalled the smell so perfectly – I think it's a mix of face cream and the Dentyne Ice gum she always chews.
I remembered perfectly the giggles of my nephews.
And the mannerisms of my brother-in-law as he tells stories.
I know the perfect way to throw my hip into the front door to get it to open correctly, and the way it needs to be slammed as I leave in order to stay closed.
I can still move around my Mom's kitchen pretty well, considering it's not my own. And for the most part, I know exactly where to look for what I'm hunting for in the cupboards.
The sound of our church congregation singing the Sevenfold Amen at the end of the service yesterday morning nearly brought me to tears – it revived such beautiful memories of our years spent in fellowship with them. As did seeing all their beautiful faces.
The smell of horse manure. The feel of cool, dry air on my cheeks. The height of the step up into the barn. The perfect way to slip my foot under the gate into the horse pasture as I open it.
My sisters' smiles. The texture of my niece's hair as I braid it.
The perfect place to position the water faucet in the shower for the right temperature.
It's weird though, because life has continued on here without us. For us, in a way, it's like we've never left. Our time here stopped the day we flew down to Alabama. But for those left behind, it continued on – day in and day out. They've grown accustomed to us not being here for Friday night family dinners – or at church on Sunday. But we haven't. We've just gotten used to something different.
I've purposely been working on not focusing on the short amount of time we have left up here. Or worrying about the next time we'll see everyone.
Instead, I want to just be thankful for the time that the Lord has given us.
He's designed us with wonderful minds, so we can recall and remember all those beautiful details.
And He's given us this time together, to refresh and revive them.
I've spent the last few days soaking it up as best as I can – as I walk by my sisters and niece and nephews, I find myself continually petting their heads. Ha. It's just nice to be able to touch them. Though none of them can figure out why I just keep randomly stroking their hair.
I'm wearing my Mom's shirts and using her hair products and chapstick. Just because I can.
I want to keep all these beautiful memories, smells, tastes, and moments as vibrant as possible.
I'm breathing deep and inhaling that wonderful mountain air. Y'all, I can't even explain to you how much I missed seeing those beautiful mountains. As we drove home from the Seattle airport, over the steep mountain pass, I just stared intently out the window at the beautiful Cascades. Littered with Evergreen trees and snow-capped, they're a site I've never grown tired of. I can't stop staring at them. I never knew I was such a mountain lover until I couldn't see them every day. Some people hug trees. I'd like to hug mountains.
And all the beautiful people that are here to enjoy.