As thousands of innocent and naïve young people recently trooped off to college for the first time, I was reminded that sixty years ago I entered Freed-HardemanCollege (now University) in Henderson, Tennessee as a freshman. It was September 1955, and I was seventeen years old. (As a matter of trivia, it also was the month and year that “Gunsmoke” debuted on television). I sometimes wonder where the years have gone. As I recently said while visiting with my old college friend, Jay Lockhart, there has been a lot of water over the dam since we were students at Freed-Hardeman. Continue reading
What have you done lately that’s worth remembering? Worth adding to your treasury of memories? Worth telling your grandkids about a few decades down the road?
It could be a trip, a good deed, a funny event, an important step in your life, a new habit begun, or an old one surrendered.
The Nudge is back today with a singular question.
I pray you have something to share.
If not, make a memory, as they say. Embark on a new venture.
I know it’s late, but I struggled to come up with the words to write about momma. She’s 94 and in a nursing home. We’d like to think she knows us, but I have my doubts.
I would hate to lose my sight, hearing, or ability to walk—but to lose the ability to remember, to be unaware of my surroundings, and unable to converse, seems unbearable.
Many find themselves in terrible pain as they approach the end of life. Others completely immobilized. Often both come into play. What’s the worst that could happen? It’s a hard question to answer, but I do know this. Dementia, a cruel disease that first jumbles, then guts the mind of its memories and abilities, ranks near the top on my list.
As we travel this road with momma we’ve been encouraged, at times even amused, at what has endured the longest. Perhaps the next to the last to go was her sharp wit. Even as the disease ravaged her brain she would manage the occasional one liner. Those zingers became less frequent over time until they were gone.
The last thing to go was her ability to sing. Even a couple of years ago she could still sing most of the verses to lots of old church songs. This was a good 12 years into the disease. We counted it a great blessing that she still had at least something from within her memory bringing her joy.
The way she is now is not the way I want to remember this feisty, nervous, God-loving, woman. And, I will not. But I will remember singing together, conversations that found solutions to the world’s problems, and, most of all, a mother who loved me. Those memories will have to do, until the time comes when her bodily deterioration catches up with what has happened to her mind and she goes on to her eternal home.
My daughter gave me a key ring with a leather fob that says “DAD” one Christmas when she was a little squirt. At the time the leather was stiff and a bit uncomfortable in my pocket, but it was nice to have something that distinguished my keys from the rest.
Now nearly 2 decades later it is much darker, very soft and pliable. A small tear has started across the skinny part and the word “DAD” is barely legible.
I suppose that stands as a testimony to just how useful it has been to me. It is also a nice memory of an excited little girl standing in front of me at Christmas with a gift she had picked out all by herself.