This month begins a birthday “season” in my family.  All of my sisters and I, my youngest daughter, and 2 nieces celebrate birthdays within a span of 25 days.

Birthdays make us remember. One year for my birthday, Mom typed out her memory of the day I was born. She did that for all my sisters, too. That was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.

Holidays, anniversaries, and other special days also take us back. We should practice it more often, though………..reminiscing. We should remember more than those treasured events like prom, wedding days, holding our newborn in our arms for the first time, or the day we graduated from college. Those are special, but other memories are worth remembering and sharing.

Playing house with your sister and climbing trees with your brother. The family vacations to the beach, the cramped ride down there, and getting so sunburned you could barely move.

Remember the smell of your grandmother’s cinnamon rolls baking in the oven or the hydrangeas she brought in from her yard to put in the center of the kitchen table?

More recent memories….like when my husband and I went to Philadelphia or the last time Dad was home or July 4th, 2014, when Mom sat with us outside and ate watermelon.  Or last week, when we gathered with friends we don’t get to see very often then sat together and watched fireworks.

We need to remember the things that happened.

But what about the things that didn’t happen?

My ex-husband and I didn’t stay divorced. Instead, we decided to reconcile and here we are……..15 years later.

The day I didn’t die because I made it to the emergency room in time. Or the afternoon my daughter didn’t drown in the Little Pigeon River. I shouldn’t forget the day my son and his friend were out in the back yard shooting his rifle. It went off accidentally. Thank God, no one was hurt.

When we remember, our heart softens and swells with gratefulness.  Perhaps we are filled with longing for “those days”. Or maybe the memories cause us to reflect and something in us shifts and we are filled with compassion or wonder. Whatever remembering does, it is mostly good.

There are cruel memories, of course. People have hurt us, or we’ve harmed someone. We’ve made some bad choices, maybe living with regrets or painful consequences.

Those memories just make the good ones even better.

And there are good ones. Keep remembering and you’ll find some.

“But then I recall all you have done, O Lord;
    I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago”.     Psalm 77:11

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Memory on the Menu.”