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The best ‘pictures’ exist in our minds…

This is a direct quote from my husband, said the other night just before bed. Long after he’d fallen fast asleep, I lay tossing and turning thinking about that simple quote. And after what seemed like an hour of deep thought I think he’s right.

Some examples/rants of my thought process during that lone hour.

Why is it that I can hear my husband’s razor combined with the smell of his shaving cream waffling through the bathroom door and be taken directly back to my childhood home 20-some years ago while our family was getting ready for a wedding. The sound of my dad’s electric razor and the smell of his shaving cream are exact. Only in my memory I can also smell my dad’s cologne, see him standing in his suit pants and white tee shirt and see the white puffs of smoke coming from the Salem cigarette dangling from his lips as he shaved. I experienced these two things as if they were happening simultaneously yet over 20 years separated them. No pictures exist to prove either of these moments yet they are inextricably linked-at least in my mind. (aside from the cigarette smell as neither my husband nor I smoke).

Last spring our beloved dentist’s son was tragically killed in a skateboarding accident on his LAST day of high school. Even more tragic is that he was killed on a free period just a few feet from the school. He was a child of such promise, such potential, well-loved and an extremely talented musician. I’ve been a patient of this dentist for 8 years now and have never been to his home nor seen him outside of the office. I did know from talking to him over the years that he lived close to us. Upon seeing the story on the news and gazing at that handsome boys face (an unmistakable likeness to his father/our dentist), I jumped in the car and drove over to his home. The dentist answered the door. I remember the color of his eyes so well. They were so blue, so lost and the sadness in them simply cannot be described in words. That man gave ME the biggest hug (and the longest one I’ve ever received in my life). It lasted for such a long time and with such intensity that I thought I was going to knock him over. (I was a bit taller and certainly heavier than he). It’s been almost a year and I have never forgotten that moment. I can go on and on about the details of that rainy spring day in May 2007, being able to recall the moment so precisely, the smell of the house where death had overtaken, the intensity of the embrace etc. No picture exists. But this one, like the memory of my dad, stays with me. And probably always will.

This week marks my 7th wedding anniversary. I don’t need to whip out my thick wedding album to remember. I can close my eyes and I am standing in the church arm in arm with my dad. I am not nervous at all-but confident and calm as I look up the isle to see my future husband standing at the altar with his hands behind his back. I can feel my dress, my tiara (yes-I actually wore one!) and the sun shinning down on us through the beautiful stained glass window above the altar. Happy Anniversary my dear.

Such intense emotions and memories are so vivid, so powerful and can exist not on Kodak Endura paper but only…in our minds. So lovely and so perfect that no amount of time could ever weather them.

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Lori - April 10, 2008 - 9:37 am

Lovely post. And even without a picture, your words help me “see” your memories.

But an actual photograph is a real help in sharing with others!

Heasleye - April 14, 2008 - 7:35 pm

Such a vivid and poignant post, MB. You are a very fine writer! Congratulations on your anniversary! God bless!
(And thank you for your very generous words on my blog.)

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