Have you ever wondered why you remember some days and some days just seem to slide out of your memory like they never happened? Julia and I were married for thirty-eight and a half years. That’s 14,052 days. That’s a lot of days, yet how many do I really remember? What makes a day memorable anyway? Right now I wished that we had made more memories. So much time was spent working, and just existing. I know that there are responsibilities, but we, at least I put too much emphasis on getting ahead and having nice things. I guess we were caught up in living the “American Dream”. But where does that get you? What kind of memories can you make when you are always working or doing the things to keep the house running. I wish that we had traveled more, that we had taken the girls more places when they were younger. The old saying, “Hindsight is 20/20” is probably true. Looking back I wish that we had settled for less house, not such nice cars and more time traveling, being together and making memories.
OK, what brought all this on? Why all the thoughts of memories? Well tonight when I was driving back up north from BSSM, I was listening to a Neil Diamond album on my Ipod. Don’t worry; I wasn’t driving with earplugs on. My Miata is over eleven years old, and last ear the CD player quit working. So instead of replacing the CD player I had an aux switch put in so I could play my Ipod through the speakers. It cost less, and works better. So tonight I played one of the two Neil Diamond albums that I have on it. This is his latest album released a couple of years ago. The other is a compilation of his greatest hits. Julia and I both love Neil Diamond. He is one of our favorite singers. I don’t know whether it is his voice or the songs he sings, but his hard driving rhythm and guitar along with a melancholy sound has captivated us for years. So as I was driving home I was thinking of Julia and the time we saw Neil Diamond in Concert. I don’t remember the exact date, or even the exact place. I think it was at the Atlanta Civic Center and it was between 1992 and 1995. We were going to the Atlanta Vineyard at the time and we took Johnny and Anne Crist with us. It was a wonderful evening, and I can remember Julia’s face and how much fun we both had listening to all of our favorite songs and listening to Neil live. We didn’t want the night to end it was so good. I remember all the people lighting their lighters with the lights turned out. It was just a great atmosphere. We have talked about that concert for years, and were determined to see him again. He was at the Cobb Galleria last year, but we were going to be out of town so we didn’t get to go. I wish we had. So I want to go back to my question. What makes one night special and other nights forgettable. Why do I remember that night with Julia and can’t remember others? I think it is because I could see how much she enjoyed it, and I was enjoying it too. Sometimes I might really enjoy something, bet she would be there because I wanted to be there. Sometimes it worked the other way. But when we were both excited, and the event exceeded our expectations, then that makes a memory.
We had many memories over the years. Many were concerts at Chastain Park. We would take a picnic dinner, a bottle of wine and TV trays and sit out under the stars enjoying the dinner, each other and the concert. I think we had season tickets for three or four years. I really don’t know why we stopped going. I remember seeing Chicago play. We sat in the rain one year to watch The Righteous Brothers. We saw the Beach Boys and many other groups. They were all fun, and good memories, but that Neil Diamond concert so many years ago has to rate as one of the best. So driving home tonight, listening to Neil brought me closer to Julia, and that right now is a good thing. I found myself looking at her pictures on my IPhone during by break at work. I miss her very much, and the reality has set in. I’m not going to see her again on this side of Heaven. So we need to make memories while we can. They are so important. Relationships are so important. Things you can do without. Even with our kids, I wonder sometimes were all the activities they were involved in good or bad. As they got older, we hardly ever saw them. That was “normal”. But was it right? I don’t know. What I do know is that I want to make my time with them and my grandkids count. I want to leave them with some memories. Everything is about relationship. The Father wants it that way, and He Rules.