Looking back, one of my strongest memories is my 38th birthday out at the farm. The whole family was there: my parents, my three kids and my siblings. We had just finished having birthday cake and I vividly remember thinking, "Remember this day." I urged myself not to forget the feeling I had. My kids were all there. The extended family was together. Everyone was in good health and in good spirits. I felt so loved. To me, it was just perfect.
That was 26 years ago.
So much has happened since then. Now looking back at that moment, I wish I would have known what I know now. Of all big events in life - marriage, birth, and other special moments - that day was the strongest memory I anchor back to. While I feel a sense of joy reminiscing, I also have to hold back my tears just thinking about that blink in time.
Because life happens. And life hasn't quite felt the same since then.
My two daughters moved out and got married. I sent my son off to college and he got married. Six months after, my husband passed after a heart attack. I helped raise my grandson and he moved out of my home. I remarried and also lost my second husband to another heart attack. Each step of the way, both good and bad, life is all about change. With every event, your heart changes and it doesn't quite feel the same as one progresses through life.
What can I say? Even though I feel fortunate and blessed now, I can never completely restore my heart back to the feelings I had that day. I cry longing for the return of that perfect feeling but I know my heart can never be restored.
Life is all about change and you just have to adjust to keep up with it. You just have to keep going on no matter what life brings you.
So savor every moment and continue to make great memories. That's the best advice I give. If your kids are still home, cherish your time with them. And of all things, love and adore your spouse.
Lynn Chaney - Minnesota