Smiling in a Memory

It’s just a regular morning. Nothing unusual as I am very routine driven in my ways and means. Wake up at dawn or a little before, make coffee (first and foremost), get the dog dishes ready, then head outside to sit on our patio outside the Rv (appropriately labeled, “Brent’s Fort). Then, after the dogs eat, I take them for a morning stroll and they “read” a fair amount of “pee-mails” and heading back, I sit in my chair and drink my coffee. Pretty usual.

When you are immersed in the usual, your mind has the unique capacity to ponder past pieces and parcels of life…your life and it’s personal surroundings (needed a lot of “p’s” in that sentence aPParently). They say one shouldn’t dwell on the past, but I am a champion of it. It is another chance to review, reflect and sometimes revise how you view the previous missteps and moments of glory. I do it often.

This morning is not any different except I choose to write down my thoughts and share them with you.

Tomorrow my only son is getting married to the woman he loves. And so my wandering and unencumbered mind takes a beautiful trip up and down memory mountain. Memories seem always to fade any rough edges and polish the values of our living…so my thoughts of my son make me smile.

No intent to share all…as some of these mind films are for my benefit only. Most are not recorded on reel or faded photographs, but rather torn-edged snapshots in my head and heart…the things that make you smile! But we shared a lot of his young life together as a dad and son should, i.e. camping trips, visiting church members, sledding, building snow sculptors and tree houses and well, long walks in the woods (including paintball guns, throwing knives, and tipping trees by the Mississippi)!

One of my precious memories is of a day when we woke from our slumber to the awareness that my son’s pet rabbit Smoky was never to awake from his/her (really how can you tell?) eternal slumber. Very sad reality and traumatic as rigor mortise had set in by the time we noticed. There was some wailing and gnashing of teeth.

So after consoling my son and discussing some beautiful possible outcomes (in a better place speech) for a now eternally living time-traveling rabbit in fields of clover, I declared it a “pass day” from school for preparations for a Smoky funeral and interment. Now the day took on a entirely new meaning and we began discussions regarding what Smoky would have wanted.

We needed a casket and Smoky was just the right size for a towel lined shoebox with some marker art work on the outside…including a recording of the name and date for any archeologists who may centuries later perform a dig in our back yard. We took a road trip in our Dodge truck to the Mississippi backwaters to find just the right headstone to mark Smoky’s resting place (and to keep a keen-smelling coyote from digging him up-avoiding a second traumatic discovery).

We returned with a stone requiring both of our cumulative muscle mass to carry and we took turns with a shovel preparing the hole for Smoky’s casket to be lowered into the ground. We both said some meaningfully tearful words regarding our life and memories of dear Smoky’s short life. We lowered the box in the grave and my son shoveled the dirt over the top and turned to sob into his dad’s legs. I see it and feel the emotions as if it was yesterday.

And so tomorrow my son takes a wife and she gets the man that was a boy.

My advice to her if she were to ask about my son? Understand the boy and you’ll get the man.

You see…all men were/are boys. Find and celebrate the boy in the man and you’ll discover incalculable value and insight into sharing life with the man. It really is a lifetime calling! Not all have acquired the skill and so miss out on really knowing who he is…by their inability to know how he was formed.

“God chose us in Christ to be holy and blameless in God’s presence before the creation of the world.” (Ephesians 1:4)

And to the wonderful woman who chose my son and he her: This is my son in whom I am well-pleased! Be present-in the moment.

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