Last week I took a lovely drive down “Memory Lane.”
It’s been heavy on my heart lately to do more with my aging parents. So, I planned a little “day trip” with them.
My dad spent part of his childhood living in Hermosa Beach – only two blocks from the Pacific Ocean. He has many fond memories of those years…
And then, years later, he and my mom returned to the same area.
So, early last Wednesday morning, I drove down to pick them up at their house at the beach (are we detecting a theme in their lives??) We piled into my Explorer, Eddie – (I’m not the ONLY one who names her car – you know who you are!) – and headed up the freeway. Took the proper exit…and began our nostalgic trip.
We drove from street to street, house to house, as we re-traced the recollections of my dad. Where his friend lived – the one who everyone picked on, but whom my dad befriended. Oh, over there was another friend – the one who figured out how to rig a tin-can telephone between the houses, until the parents found out they were talking until 1:00 in the morning! There’s where the nice man and his wife would sit with him on the swing, and tell him Bible stories. And there’s the house where the retired Naval officer lived – the one who procured an old searchlight off of a destroyer, and put it on his balcony pointed at the ocean – so the kids could swim in the waves until 9:00 at night.
Quite frankly, I was enraptured.
It sounded like a perfect Huckleberry Finn upbringing. Idyllic, slow-paced, a perpetual summer.
We went into the old grocery store – the TINY grocery store – that hadn’t changed a bit!! I bought some Advil, just so I could say I got something from “The Green Store.”
We walked out on the pier, and looked at the birds, and the sand, and the beautiful ocean.
I had been afraid of this day in some ways. My dad’s a little cantankerous nowadays. He can talk…on and on…and it’s hard to “escape.” But today, as he wove a beautiful tapestry of his childhood, I listened to every thread – and enjoyed it!
But here was the “highlight” of the day for me.
And here’s where my MOM got excited.
Evidently, when she was about five months pregnant with me, my dad got transferred down to Torrance…and they moved to Palos Verdes (just a little further down the coast from Hermosa Beach). They wanted to find the house that they had been living in when they brought me home from the hospital.
We snaked around streets, looking for the right house – was it even going to be there anymore? (Gotta hand it to my folks – their memories and sense of direction were SHARP that day!)
One last turn…and then my mom’s finger came flying from the back seat, “THERE IT IS!” she squealed.
And sure enough, there it was.
My parents’ faces glowed. They smiled. They chattered excitedly.
“Oh I wish we could go knock on the door,” my mom said.
“Let’s go!” I replied.
Dad decided to stay in the car. But my mom and I, arms linked together, walked up to the little house. Just as we approached the driveway, a car drove up – wouldn’t you know it! It was the owner! We explained why we were there. They let us come in!
I can’t explain the feelings that washed over me as I stood in that living room, holding my mom right next to my side, as she breathlessly sighed, “It hasn’t changed at all…”
I realized something at that moment. Obviously, I couldn’t remember a single minute from that time in my life. But my mom did. There is a part of me that will always belong to her…just her. And somehow, that knowledge made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Close to her – in a way that I can’t explain.
It made me feel SPECIAL.
It reminded me of God. How He knew me before I was even born. And how a part of me will always belong to Him…just Him. And somehow, that knowledge makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Close to Him – in a way that I can’t explain.
It makes me feel SPECIAL.
You’re special too. He knows you that way. He loves you that way. Isn’t that the most AWESOME thing of all?
“Even before the beginning of the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ…” (Ephesians 1:4)
If your parents are still alive – call them, send them a card, go see them if you can. Take a trip down “Memory Lane” – you’ll be so glad you went along for the ride.
Oh Lord, thank you for my parents. For the way they love me. Thank you for the privilege of spending time with them. And thank you forever, for the love You show me. The love that knows me. The love that died for me. The love that gave me life – and gave me Life Everlasting…
BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”