You know what I mean, times that stand out in your mind, sharp and clear.
Here are some for me.
The first one happened just a few days ago, as I went in for my yearly physical. There I sat on the examining table, waiting. My little paper shirt, my socks and my mask. If I had dwelled on it, I would have been in the throes of uncontrolled laughter, so I tried not to. I must have looked a sight, but I’m glad no one had a camera! I remember as a child my daddy waking me up in what I thought was the middle of the night, but probably wasn’t, as he and my mother were still up. He wrapped me in a blanket and drove down the street to an old falling down house. He knocked; they let him in, grinning. He took me into a front bedroom and told me to look under the bed. And there was a fawn. He handed me some kind of feed, and when I held my hand out, it scooted forward and ate from my hand.
My mother surprising me in first grade with a birthday cake (it was my teacher’s birthday, too) and how embarrassed she was because my wish was to have a baby brother or sister.
Another memory happened at night, too. I was around 8, I guess. We were coming back from some friends’ house and Daddy suddenly pulled off the road and told us to stand by the car. It was summertime, and I remember the air being very still. And then we heard the scream! He explained it was a mountain lion, not a woman. I’ll never forget that sound.
Another moment that stands out is when my Daddy came flying up the driveway, flung open the back door, and with snow on his shoulders, proclaimed, “Twin boys!” Turns out I was no longer an only child.
Having my purse stolen in second grade because I had pulled a tooth and placed it in there. My purse was found in the garbage, but the tooth was gone. Thankfully, the tooth fairy understood and I got a quarter anyway.
Being told my grandfathers had passed, my own daddy dying before I could get to the hospital because our phone line had been cut while doing some kind of road repair and they’d had to send someone to get me. My grandmothers dying. I guess if you are old enough, those things are never forgotten.
My first solo. I was terrified! No one knew I could sing, and watching the audience suddenly sit up and stare at me helped. Sort of.
Realizing I was going to marry again, even though I’d vowed it was something I’d never do! 35 years later, I reckon it’s gonna work out.
Seeing and holding my daughter for the first time. The day she was saved. The day she was baptized. (That brought back memories of my own baptism, and the fear the preacher might drop me!)
A few years back, a hummingbird got in our sunroom. It was exhausted, trying to get out. I walked up to it, cupped it in my hand and took it out to the porch where my daughter had mixed sugar and water in a lid. I held it while it drank. When it was able to sit up, I opened my hand. In a few moments, the drink had given it enough strength to fly off. I’ll never forget holding it, no weight to it at all, only the beating of its heart against my palm.
Last year I was invited to read to the elementary school. My book, “The Crow and The Wind,” was purchased for each child. As I sat up on stage and read, I looked up over the sea of children. All of them were intent on looking at the book. The only sound of that full auditorium was pages turning in tandem. I’ll never forget looking to the side of the stage and teachers standing there crying. Afterward, they said that had never happened; that it was like witnessing a miracle of silence and concentration. I get chills just writing about this.
My first book signing. About 150 people came. People I’d known all my life, people I’d gone to school with but hadn’t seen in years, even my 10th grade literature teacher came and I hadn’t seen him since I graduated high school! There were people I had worked with years ago, people from my church, past and present, people from my old neighborhood, and people presently in my life from work. I told someone it was like the old television program, “This is Your Life,” where a person was on stage, and the host, Ralph Edwards, would introduce folks from their past. They would recognize the voice, and the “guest” would get all emotional, then the actual person would come on stage. Anyway, I spent a large part of the day saying to one person or another; “Remember me telling you about-” The next day my hand hurt so badly I couldn’t open it all the way from signing books. It was great! I’ve made many new friends because of my books. Some of them I haven’t met (yet) but have talked to via Face book.
Sometimes things don’t seem important at first, it’s only later that the impact of that moment realizes itself.
Then you can look back and smile. Friends you meet for the first time that turn into lifelong, precious relationships. A job you accept and have no idea what it means to your future. The car you like and because of what kind it is, saves your daughter from injury or death in a terrible wreck.
I guess our lives really are like that pebble you throw in the water and see how the ripples go on and on.