Yesterday, for the first time in years and years, I set foot in a high school. It was amazing to me how the smells, the sounds, and the sights of this school triggered memories from the past.
The sound of footsteps as we walked through the hallways, that certain smell of the hallways –a mix of old library books and a certain kind of floor cleaner they use I think? The sound of the buzzer when it was time for class to let out, the smell of school pizza and French fries as we walked by the cafeteria.
Interesting how all of these things could instantly send me back in time.
Isn’t that wild how this happens?
It makes me wonder what is the reason for this? Why do these things trigger memories that make us think of things we haven’t given a single thought to in so many years?
It’s kind of like the smell of biscuits baking in the oven in the morning — I instantly think of Mawmaw cooking Saturday morning breakfast for us. How she would so carefully make us the most wonderful breakfast, while keeping her kitchen immaculate even as she cooks. I can hear the sound of her scrambling the eggs, and the bacon thawing out in the microwave. The sound of waffles popping up in the toaster. I can see the bottle of maple syrup (the good kind in the glass bottle) warming up in hot water in the sink. The sound of plates being set on the table, and cartoons playing on the TV there in the living room, and I see the moving reflection of the lake on the ceiling.
As I type these words I can see all of this. That one smell of biscuits baking in the oven and I can see all of this, I can hear her voice and all of these sounds, and I can even taste the waffle soaked in maple syrup and butter. Such sweet memories with Mawmaw.
Then I remember when I was 16, it was the day I was to go for my “official portrait” that was to be put up on the wall at Mawmaw and Pawpaws house. I so dreaded that –I was at the point in my life when I hated myself, I hated looking in the mirror, I couldn’t even stand to go anywhere for people to see me because I felt so disgusted with myself. I had to go for my portrait though, it was just the thing to do, and so important to Mawmaw. I found something to wear but I hated it, I felt fat and gross and absolutely dreadful. Mawmaw tried so hard to make me feel beautiful, to help me to get through it, but no matter what it just didn’t come through to me because my self-hatred was so deep, nobody could tell me anything to change my mind at that time. Oh what a day. Looking back, I wish I could have gotten my mind off of myself so that I could realize that it was something Mawmaw had been looking forward to my whole life, spending that day with me.
What a strong woman she was, endured through so much pain. I know she prayed for me, especially when she was on her deathbed.
Memories are powerful, aren’t they? I’m thankful for the good ones. I’m also thankful for the not so good ones because then I also remember what the Lord has done and how He has/ is healing them –somehow making those memories into good memories too…because His fingerprints are all over them.