It seems a bit paradoxical…but as the years accumulate, along with their life experiences and memories…well, the less I can remember. All the memories I would have if I simply could remember them all! Or even most. But for every fresh memory made, I seem to lose one. Or two.
But I still can vividly recall my “first memory” – the farthest that my brain can go back and actually remember an event. I was almost five….which is most impressive as that was a long way back! There are no photos to refresh my memory nor does anyone else see to remember this story that I am relying on. It is clearly in my own mind. No matter that not much else is for months or years after this event…but this memory I savor.
GO – We were a young family of four. Me, my brother – only 16 months younger – and Dad and Mom. My dad had recently been promoted and transferred from Norfolk (where he had lived his entire life) to Fairfax, Virginia…a suburb of the nation’s capital and “the big city.” It was a huge life move. We arrived in February and settled into the White House Motel (catchy, right?) Apparently, we did not have a new house yet (which would come soon) but our first nights were in the hotel. Maybe stressful for Dad – I don’t know – but no doubt an adventure for my brother and me. Seriously, the hotel beds would vibrate if you dropped a quarter into the box on the nightstand!!?!
Our first morning, we awoke to snow! Almost two feet of snow!! We were, well, a bit stranded. Motels then did not have inside corridors or even lobbies. There certainly was no continental breakfast to be had. Any chance of breakfast for our family was across the four-lane street to a somewhat dingy, but open, 24-hour diner. The streets were completely empty of cars. But there was also no sign of a snowplow. The roads were knee-deep in snow. And this is where my (earliest) memory begins.
We are trekking across the main highway through town. I am on top of my dad’s shoulders and my brother is on my mom’s. Hiking through a winter wonderland like a real pioneer family settling a new frontier!
STOP – I have no idea what my parents thought of this grand adventure. Were they excited, super stressed, worried or a host of other things? Maybe, all of the above. Whatever they felt, their goal was to provide for, protect and love their children. Whatever the challenge, I have no idea they walked across that highway not only grateful for that diner but also without a single thought of the weight they were carrying. And I had not a care in the world atop my father’s shoulders!! Isn’t that the most wonderful picture of casting all our cares on our Father who promises to walk beside us…to lead us…and to carry us when necessary? For me, it is.
“…….Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by the name; thou are mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God….” Isaiah 43:1b – 3a
I have needed this reminder this week – more than once. Perhaps you need it too. We are His children. We can rest confidently knowing He is in control.
These are my thoughts on the word FIVE this week. I have no idea how or why a rather random memory from the farthest corner of my brain would come to mind with that prompt but it was a fun memory. And an encouragement. Always so grateful for FMF!