This was lesson 1.
“You remember?” I asked her. She didn’t.
And then she made a comment that crushed my spirit. “I don’t remember you reading to me at all when I was little.”
I stopped the movie. How many thousands, yes, literally thousands, of books did I read to this child from the time she was an infant? And she remembered none of them?
How many books have you read to your children?
How many will they remember?
Does it matter?
Granted, she remembered the more current read-alouds, but seemingly lost were all those picture books and pop-up books and easy-readers and Winnie-the-Pooh and Curious George (although his antics always made her uncomfortable).
Does her failure to remember mean that I wasted my time reading to her as a little girl?
Certainly not! Whether she consciously recalls the memories or not, they’re embedded in her. It was time well-spent: bonding, loving, enjoying.
I have no regrets for hours reading together, even though they’re unremembered by her.
That was lesson 1.
* * *
This is lesson 2. It’s harder.
Today I’ll dress up, as planned, and attend the Mother’s Day Tea at my mom’s assisted living. I’ve been telling her for a week that I’m coming.
But when I knock on her door this afternoon, and say, “Hey, Mama! It’s Lisa,” she’ll be shocked to see me!
Because that’s her reaction every time I visit. Because she forgets that I was there…just yesterday. And two days prior to that.
And tomorrow, she’ll forget that I came today.
Does that mean that today doesn’t matter?
I like to look forward to things.
Plan and schedule and anticipate.
And I like to look back on things.
Awaken and remember and smile.
If I can’t look forward to it,
and I can’t look back on it,
does that make it any less important?
It’s a very difficult lesson I’m trying to learn—that what I do today has value in it, regardless of the past or future. Regardless that it couldn’t be anticipated earlier and won’t be remembered later.
Even if the specific memory is quickly forgotten?
Yes, even if the specific memory is quickly forgotten.
God loved me far back before I could remember. So I can love now even when memory is gone.
Have no regrets for hours loving now. Don’t look forward to see if they’ll be remembered later.
Love requires no planner nor scrapbook. They’re nice, but…
Now is enough. Now matters. Now is the time to love.
* * *
What are you doing today
that no one will remember tomorrow?
Does that matter?
More Walks with Him