remember, even when you'd rather forget

I almost stayed home that afternoon. A feeling of not-quite-right gripped me, pulling me back toward bed to worry and ruminate. Instead, I rode along while my love ran errands. I filled the air with prose as he drove and the quiet focus of reading aloud calmed me.

Turns out something wasn’t right and I spent a fair amount of time in bed those days that followed. I slipped into the soul-numbing abyss of online videos, trying to forget the pain in my gut. Forgetting. I did a lot of forgetting that week. Over and over I forgot what really comforts, what really provides peace.

Ironic. The chapter of the book I’d read while my husband ran errands was all about remembering. Had I heard the words? Curled up in bed, my husband echoed them back to be sure I had. Remember. Remember and be thankful, even in the midst of pain.

It’s easier to forget. The farm wife who wrote the words reminding us to remember doesn’t deny it. Her whole story is about learning the hard work of remembering the good, writing the everyday gifts on paper with ink — a physical reminder. I used to keep a list myself, modeled after hers. My gratitude journal sits on the shelf next to old records of teenage musings.

Now that I’ve remembered, I take it out and add a few lines. I choose to find something beautiful to write down. I choose to see and take note of the gifts, and in creating a physical, black-and-white remembrance, the memories solidify.

Funny how the simple act of writing helps a thing to materialize.