Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Carrying Memories

"It is proof that through the prism of a broken heart, how the living carry the memory of those who have gone — and how that, in some small way, keeps these lost loved ones walking among us." Bob Dylan

I saw this quote this morning and it helped to put some feelings I've had into words. Good ol' Dylan. 

We DO carry around the memory of those who have gone and keep them living within us.  I know that for me, Dale lives in me. I hear his words; I see his face; I remember.  I've even sort of adopted some of his traits since he passed. He was always the early to bed, early to rise type of person, and I was the night owl. Now it's hard to get me to stay awake past 10 o'clock! He liked egg rolls. I never did. Now I eat one every time I have Chinese food. It's little things like that.  I took Jelly and Peanut Butter out to eat not long ago, and Peanut Butter likes to steal food off of her brother's plate. It drives him nuts. I smiled and thought of how Dale used to tell the story of how his little sister used to always steal food off of his plate and it drove him nuts. I laugh a little and shake my head because I see him chuckling and telling that story once again. I feel compelled to tell it for him because he's not here to share those memories with his kids anymore.  I'm so afraid I'm going to forget things he told me. I'll forget the stories he shared with me. I want the kids to know who he was in his life, not just how that life ended.  I want them to know what he liked to do, the music he liked to listen to, his interests, the things that he did to relax, the stories from his own childhood that I can never share.  I try not to be afraid of the memories or try to stop them from coming. Even though there is joy in carrying him with me, it comes at a price because there is always pain with it too. That sweet sorrow when you realize what will be missing from the lives of those who loved him, and especially for my kids who didn't have the time to get to know him well enough.  It's up to all of us who knew him to make sure that Dale's memory doesn't fade and that it continues to walk among us. 

Whose memory do you carry?