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.