This week, I am finding myself choking up over memories from my younger days.
This is a new phenomenon. I am not sure what is causing it. I have always looked back to old memories with a fondness. This feeling is more like finality.
On my way back from last week’s workshops, my travels took me past “the lake.” We bought in over 30 years ago and have been going every year since. Even when we didn’t live in the state, we found a way to get a week or more of vacation there.
It was a marvelous place for all of us.
Starting with one pool, now there are three, including an indoor, year-round pool. We would bring the Jon boat and spend time fishing on the two lakes. Then there were the evening campfires and extended family that would come and share in the fun.
Thinking about “the lake” has always been thoughts of positive, fun times. So why did my visit last week seem dire? It was the feeling that I was not going to see it again. That this chapter of our family history was ending, and it would never be the same.
Why would I think like that?
One of the reasons we retired in the location we did was that we would be only an hour from the lake. We could go for the day, slip away for the weekend, etc. And thinking down the road to eventual grandchildren, we would be able to take them, having them share the same experiences that their parents had.
This unhelpful thinking is cluttering up my memories.
Thoughts of my father and I building a rowboat with a sheet of plywood come to mind. I could balance it on my Radio Flyer Wagon and pull it down to Mr. Bowman’s farm ponds. I would fish for the day, then drag the boat back up the hill to our home.
These memories are making me feel mortal. That boat was built when I was 11 years old. I will never be 11 years old again. Maybe that’s the feeling. That slap in the face one gets when they understand they are not going to live forever.
It is clear I haven’t come to terms with death.
It still scares the “bejeebers” out of me. I know people who have “made their peace,” but that’s not me. Not yet. I’ve finally figured out that I have depression. I finally am seeing a future including managing it. I am finally saying its name, “depression.”
That seems to be enough for now. I’ll get to face my own mortality another time. Right now, I want to enjoy my memories, not feel sad about them. That is something I can control. Not how the memories pop up, but how I think about them.
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