This morning our youngest daughter and myself were talking about family members. Some are far away and some that are not with us anymore.
Thanksgiving doesn’t have the same meaning for me that it did in years past but those memories and feelings came rolling back as we spoke. We talked about my great grandmother and grandmother and the 5 generation picture my oldest son, my mother and myself took many years ago. My great grandmother and grandmother are both gone now. My youngest daughter never met them. She came later, much later, and never had that opportunity.
Seeing pictures of families getting together on Facebook and Instagram reminded me of times, celebrations and people from the past. We talked about her adoption as well and she mentioned her gratitude to my husband and myself for choosing her to be part of our family (pretty profound thoughts for an 10 year old) and we went on to talk about her as baby and her “gotcha day” and how and when and how that all occurred. It is a familiar conversation we have. For a while it was like we were transported somewhere else. It is so funny how days like yesterday can spur such conversations. She contributed a few other stories that she remembered from our gatherings in her almost 11 years and we laughed and reminisced.
She then informed me that she doesn’t like turkey anymore, especially if it is not flat and in a package. This is also a familiar conversation. With a raised eyebrow and a smile I informed her that I was taking a few days off from cooking and that would be what we would be eating for a few days. She took a deep breath, sighed, and said that was “fair” after all the work I did yesterday. You got that right girlie! LOL 😉
I noticed how easily my mind veered off into all sorts of emotion when discussing these things. It is like it is programmed to. A well worn road. Some painful, very sad feelings and some happy and comical ones came to the surface. For a moment or two, I was there. And honestly I do not desire to be. I know better. I know “there” isn’t real anymore. It no longer exists. When I am there, I am not here. And “here” is all there is. Here is where life is lived, not there. If I choose not to be “here”, I miss what “here” has to offer and I do not experience it fully and with joy.
Nostalgia gives us good feelings and bad but isn’t somewhere we should stay for long. I have watched people go through life and miss it because of a continual overdose of nostalgia. I have done that myself. They live there and not “here.” Life happens around them and it more like a dream than a reality to be fully experienced. They are never fully present. I “get” the appeal because life is painful sometimes. But, besides painful, it is wonderful, joyful, exciting and thrilling! It’s the most amazing ride ever! Like anything else in life nostalgia must only be used in moderation otherwise one can blink and miss years of of “now” and all that it has to offer.
So I looked at my daughter’s deep brown eyes, messy hair and the sun peaking in through the drapes shining on her sleep lined face and I returned to now. I smelled the coffee in the kitchen and the aroma still lingering from yesterday’s cooking and I took in “now”. Now is pretty amazing. Now is wonderful! Now is where life is.