Memories

My husband and I were sitting by the dinning table as we watched our youngest four-year-old daughter playing and jumping on all around. The Cartoon Network was showing a film but it didn’t catch our interest because our attention was on our daughter. It was good to see her happy. My husband said that he wished we could have all the happy moments in a video. Yes, indeed, I agreed. He added to say that it would be good to play it back again and again specially in times that he is a bit down or sad. He has a point, but I told him that pictures or videos could be ruined, lost or destroyed. I learned it by experience that some hard disk drive don’t last long. Sadly to say, I lost many of my videos and pictures because of drive malfunction. What is important, I told my husband, is to live and experience the moment. The joyous feeling of the moment would be stored both in our memory bank and in our hearts.  Our brain cells might deteriorate in time or because of illness. But it would be stored in our hearts and the heart of our daughter. There are things that cannot be record in a video or taken by a camera, but are stored inside our very soul.

I hate to admit that I sometimes made that mistake of focusing more of how to capture the moment in the camera than really being there with my kids or loved ones. Just enjoying the moment with them. Living every second of it. Using all my senses to absorb everything. And just loving them.

Those happy memories that were captured in photographs or videos are good, but it will stay as it is. But the experience stored in our memory bank and in our hearts will take root and grow. It will bear fruits of love, joy and happiness. Our children might not remember all the wonderful memories we had with them, but the love is there in their hearts. The love that is active, vibrant and alive.

Sadly, our memories store up the less pleasant experiences as well. It has been one year and three days since my teenage daughter tried to kill herself. I remember how I ravaged my mind, trying to go back in time and see what I missed. Did I miss some signs from her? Her cry for help? But it was all blank. It was only after a while that the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. She received help and is recovering. Thank God! She approached me one time and said, “Mom, I wish my past will be erased and be wiped clean. Then it will be blank and no one ever has to know about what I said and did. I wish all my bad memories will be gone and only the good ones are left. Then we can live a new life.” I answered her saying, “___ my dear. You are who you are right now because of your past. What done is done. We cannot erase it nor change it. The scars in your arms are still there. Yes it will remind you of what happened. We can only accept it and learn from it. We cannot do anything about your past. But you still have a choice of who you want to be. The future is still open for you. Use your past to make you stronger and wiser. Take it as a blessing in disguise. But right now, let’s just live one day at a time.”

Yes, one day at a time, one moment at a time. Bless this life we have been given. Soon it will only be a memory.

Avedore

 

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Jesus is

Today’s Gospel reading:

“After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied,
Jesus made his disciples get into the boat
and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida,
while he dismissed the crowd.
And when he had taken leave of them,
he went off to the mountain to pray.
When it was evening,
the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore.
Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing,
for the wind was against them.
About the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them walking on the sea.
He meant to pass by them.
But when they saw him walking on the sea,
they thought it was a ghost and cried out.
They had all seen him and were terrified.
But at once he spoke with them,
“Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”
He got into the boat with them and the wind died down.
They were completely astounded.
They had not understood the incident of the loaves.
On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.” Mark 6:45-52

Resource: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/010616.cfm

History repeats itself. That’s what the saying goes. It has happened to me before and happened several times again afterwards. Just like the disciples, after experiencing the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves of bread and fish, that fed five thousand men, it only took some wind and they forgot about Jesus! Maybe not totally, but they couldn’t recognize him, were terrified and as the final verse said; “on the contrary, their hearts were hardened.” I’m no better than the disciples. Life as it goes, comes with challenges and storms, and like the disciples, I couldn’t recognized Jesus, even if He would stand right in front of me, even after I’ve experienced firsthand His blessings, graces, love and the many times He saved me from troubles and helped me solve my problems. I ask myself again and again; why, oh why did I fail to recognize Him? I  think  I would answer that question myself. Because deep inside I know the answer. I’ve focused more on my problems or on the storms and trying to solve it all by myself. I know Jesus is there. Just like the disciples, of course they knew Jesus was there; up in the mountain praying or maybe on the shore waiting for them. But never in their wildest dream would they imagine or think that He would be walking on the sea in the middle of heavy winds! It just didn’t fit in their reality. It was against any natural law. Wait, they just experienced the miracles of the loaves, wouldn’t it be more easier for them now to believe that there is no impossible to God? And yet it was difficult for them to comprehend God’s love and presence right there in the middle of the storm. I have to admit that I am like the disciples, maybe worst. It’s so easy to praise God when everything run smoothly and the sun is shining. But when troubles come, I would pray, Lord help me, but fail to recognize that He is helping me already. He is already there. In the middle of a tragic death of a family member, Jesus is there. In the middle of a divorce, Jesus is there. Right there in the financial crisis, Jesus is extending His Hands, assuring me that He is there. Amidst the pain, sorrow and miseries, Jesus is there.

Lord, help me to recognize you in every aspect of my life; good or bad. Open my eyes and help me see you in all circumstances, everywhere, every time and in people around me. Open my ears so I may hear Your words.

Lord, I pray that may my heart never be hardened because of the storms and cruelties in life. I am not asking you to take away all the bad things that makes my heart harder, rather help me understand these things and accept them with hope and love. I know, that only by letting you into my heart, will my heart be soft. Grant oh Lord that I may open my heart and let you inside. A heart without You in it, is already hard. Only You and Your love softens it.

Thank you Lord Jesus for being here with me no matter what. Thank you for being You, my Beloved Lord and Savior.

 

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