Saturday, October 15, 2016
Today would have been our 38th anniversary.
Now that I think of it, maybe it still is. After all, in the eyes of the world, I'm a single woman now, a widow, and no longer married. But in my heart, well, that's another matter.
In some ways, this anniversary is sweeter, distilled down from experience and transmuted into memory. It is the day of wedding, and every one of the 37 anniversaries that followed, all celebrated
together. A combined delight, made better in combination.
All anniversaries are memory, aren't they? While lovers are together, they add to their communal experience, but after they've been parted, well, the experience ceases and the memories alone carry on, becoming thick and palpable, more real sometimes than reality itself. I feel them all, know them not like a thought, but like a thing. I'm getting very good at remembering, and it becomes a pleasant, vital pastime--active, not passive.
Memory is a privilege.
God Himself urges us to remember.
When we cannot have real presence, memory consoles us. Memory teaches us how to long for something once had, how to use loneliness to good purpose. Memory makes solitude productive.
While those we love are with us, we have the pleasure of their flesh and blood. We have laughter, and love, and we make stories together. It is so good. But later--later we have this longing. We have the privilege of feeling again what we once had.
But this time, the experience differs. This time, we feel, but are not satisfied. God, after all, does not want us to be too satisfied in this world. He wants us to long for another. He wants us to remember that satisfaction here is fleeting.
"See?" He says, "What you've had was good, but there's more. I'm going to prove it to you...." And suddenly, our loved one is gone.
But in his place is Memory. The sweet experience of re-living all of the best God has given.
So, what if memory does not satisfy? What if it does not ease the longing? Memory is bold and intrusive. It pumps up the longing, intensifies it. It makes me remember how good it was and want more. It leaves me panting with excitement. I remember and am glad to be able to do it.
Then I hear Him speak again. "I have more," God tells me. "I've always had it. And you will come to know it. But, in the meantime, enjoy these days, full of sweetness, full of memory. They are my gift to you. Live them again with your love, and then look for Me. I am here. Full of hope and promise. You will find me. This is our time."