retracing pages of days gone by

Maybe you do this from time to time: see a photo of yourself and wonder how could that have been you?  Or read something you’ve written and say: I recognize the writing… but how could I have forgotten that!?!

Recently, while putting away fresh laundry, I stopped and looked up at photographs I see — but don’t really see  — every day.  And so there I stood a long time — gazing at the framed photographs that hang on the wall above my husband’s dresser.  I was sort of transported back in time and was so longing for those days.  And then I sort of mentally calculated just how much time had passed from those days to these and just had to marvel at all that’s transpired.   I thought, I know the girl in the photograph is, or was, me.  I know the babies are, or were, mine — my husband seems so much the same  — but I can’t believe that face of that girl in the photograph is the same face this old girl sees in the mirror each morning.

I continued on my cleaning and sorting of papers and books, journals and photographs… marveling all the while… still thinking about the swift passage of time.

And then I came across a thin notebook I used during the time we lived on Orcas Island… now it seems at once such a long and such a short time ago.   The children in the photographs were one and three years old.  As I read the notes from sermons, prayer groups and Bible studies, it was as if I was reliving those days and as if no time had passed from then till now.  I could almost feel the the wood of the pews in the old church building and could almost smell the scent of the foods served in the different homes where meetings and gatherings took place.

I tearfully rejoiced that I believed then what I still believe today — so thankful I relied upon and trusted God then and yet more so today.  But then I tearfully regretted that I haven’t live out that reliance and trust fully each day from those days till these.

I’m so glad I took so many notes — a practice I’ve kept through the years.  But reading through the pages, I noticed a lack.  I’m now painfully aware and so regret that I haven’t kept my own advice to others: regularly writing down the things my children have said and done.  O, how I wish I had recorded the things I was so absolutely certain I’d never forget.

How could I possibly forget that great thing, that wonderful achievement, that dear request or that cutest ever comment?

2 thoughts on “retracing pages of days gone by

  1. Pamela,
    wow~ I was just thinking similar thoughts the other day…wondering where all the time had gone. I suppose due to the passing of my father right before Christmas; I am experiencing a great flood of memories…and the realization that it is so very important to recall all that has happened in the past because it has really informed who I have become today as a wife and mother, sister and friend. Thank you so much for the post and always being obedient to what the Lord puts on your heart.

  2. Oh, yes! Thank you for the reminder to record these things now! I also always “mean to” but never do!
    I recently recalled a memory from earlier, unmarried, living at “home” days. My sister was part of the memory too and it was so strange to know it was us, know for sure that it happened and I was there, yet have it feel so much like a story I read about someone else. We’re wholly different people now, yet wholly shaped by that other lifetime. Such a strange feeling, and I’m sure it only gets more so as time continues to pass.

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