Sunday, August 19, 2012

Pictures I Don't Take

When my cousin Tia died my family was sharing stories about her and I couldn't think of a single grand tale to tell, which is so unlike me.  My most vivid memories of her weren't really stories but little moments of her life. They were seemingly insignificant things that could not be retold but memories that have stayed captive in my mind like a picture I never took but wished I had, like what she was wearing one morning when we walked to the creek by my grandparent's cabin when we were kids. I could remember us sitting on a bed in a hotel room in Colorado Springs trying to make the phone work and a snowball fight outside of my school when I was a Sophomore. I can remember her walking into our apartment in Provo with an armful of groceries and dropping her keys on the floor. I was just sitting on the couch watching MTV.  I didn't realize that these little moments would become something important and even valuable to me.
We went to the beach this weekend.  I only took a couple of photos, which is so unlike me.  At one point I looked up and saw Scott and Harley sitting on the sand. The surf just touching their toes before it receded back into the Atlantic. He had his arm around her and she was snuggled against him.  They were talking. I thought about grabbing my camera but I was afraid I might miss something if I took my eyes away.  I fell in love with both of them all over again in that moment and I knew it was one of those seemingly insignificant pictures that I didn't take but that I would remember always.
Last night we built a fire in our iron fire pit to roast hot dogs and marshmallows.  Nash burned his foot on a metal hot dog roaster and so he was sitting with his foot in a bucket of water. Harley was in her Dora the Explorer lawn chair with chocolate and marshmallow smeared all over her face, hands and pink pajamas.  Atley watched the fire with a nervous interest that would prove beneficial when the rusted bottom of our pit fell out and caught the lawn on fire.  He frantically threw all the liquid he could reach on the fire, including ketchup. With the exception of Atley, the evening was quiet and cool.  I just sat there under the trees breathing it all in and hoping it would be one of those glimpses of life that I could always remember, like walking to the creek, dropping keys or sitting by the ocean.  These little things, these pictures I don't take,  matter the most to me.  They are mundane but they are beautiful, simple and joyful.  I have tried my best to file them away in my mind.
On the way home from the beach we filled out a Mad Lib book in the car. The boys were laughing so hard. I wanted to keep that sound with me always so that I could hear it and see it when I was sad or lonely or scared, but that's a picture I didn't and couldn't take. I suppose that is why Heavenly Father gave us memories and even allows us to keep those that don't seem significant.   He knows, what I am learning, they are something important and they will even be valuable to me.


Shannon said...

I love this sentiment about memories. Beautifully written, Melisa!

Tracy said...

here's to hoping that someday we will be able to recall those moments... I always hoped I had a secret video-camera where I can replay moments from my life or from raising kids that are meaningful to me... maybe in heaven.