Memories Give You Immortality
Twenty years ago a friend of mine in Missouri gave me a rainbow-colored afghan that gives me a feeling of warmth and pleasure every time I use it. It brings back memories of sharing thoughts and cups of coffee with Betty. Memories of good friends and good times can chase loneliness away.
That thought brings other friends to mind. There is Marian’s passion for marrying cunning stuffed animals with bricks to make useful doorstops. I have one of them that prevents errant breezes from slamming my laundry room door closed when I have doors and windows open. But I most remember her through a ceramic statue with a clothespin attached to it that holds my recipe cards out of harm’s way when I’m cooking.
Anita was a bridge-playing friend with a lively sense of humor. After she could no longer drive, we took her to our area card games and to a coffee shop afterwards for an extra bit of companionship. In appreciation she gave me a rustic ornamental birdhouse that reminds me of her every time I see it, and I’m once again enjoying her unique personality.
Before we moved here we started a square dance group that still dances every Saturday night after 25 years. When we told them we were moving to Idaho the group gave us a lovely clock that now graces our dining room. Looking at it I remember the people and the pleasurable times we had with them.
My mother’s hobby was painting china and she had real talent for it. As I look at the exquisite pieces she gave me I remember her. I’ll pass on the pieces to my children some day and they can also remember her through her artistry, and me for having preserved memories of their grandmother.
The former owners of our house had no interest in gardening. After moving here I quickly joined two garden groups, and many of my new friends gave me flower gifts for my bare beds. Mary started me off with hosta, Pink Panda strawberries, and geraniums. Hilda gave me peonies that grow more breathtakingly beautiful every year, and Marlene’s irises draw raves from visitors constantly. These and many other flowers s remind me of my gardener friends and their wonderful gardens.
We leave little reminders of ourselves every time we give people something from our lives, and these memories of us live on with them. I’m a garden writer and I delight in sharing ideas and techniques I've developed or tried. Many of my readers have told me how my articles have helped them make better gardens, so I hope I am remembered for these bits of myself that I have given.
If this idea of immortality appeals to you, there’s a saying that has inspired me: “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” It’s wonderful how much good happens when we use that idea and make memories that live on after us. And our thoughtfulness makes our own lives that much more work living.
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