It is through memory that we are able to reclaim much of our lives that we have long since written off by finding that in everything that has happened to us over the years God was offering us possibilities of new life and healing which, though we may have missed them at the time, we can still choose and be brought to life by and healed by all these years. -Fredrick Buechner, Telling Secrets
I should have anticipated it, I suppose. To be honest, I never imagined that so many old memories from my childhood would come rushing to the surface during this time of waiting for our first child. From the way I was parented, to random bits and flashes from growing up in the blue collar, Minnesota suburb that carries my same name.
Awhile ago I talked about how not everyone gets the chance to have their past revisit and then change them.
I must now recant.
We all have our memories and with every thought of the past comes a chance to change it.
For the last few nights, M and I have been turning off the DVR to watch and feel the movement of this strange alien inside her. A bump here. “Oh that’s her head for sure!” A thrust there. “That has to be the foot!” With each bump I’m called back to the places where I put up a fight myself. Called back to the places where I kicked and pushed and punched.
As I imagine being a parent, I must deal with the ways in which I wasn’t parented. As I imagine being a caretaker, I must wrestle with my own abuse. When I imagine seeing a face that loves me simply because I’m her dad, I must grapple with the ways I’ve failed to love.
Those bumpy memories that have resurfaced of late?
Stop pushing them back into the darkness.
Turn off the noise around you. Then watch. Watch those little limbs poke and prod.
Those memories are trying to tell you something.
They are waiting to be named.
They are waiting to heal your heart and give you new life.