If last month was supposed to be about gratitude, this month feels like it should be about remembering.  I spend purposeful time doing it, afraid the memories might shift if I let them get too far.  But my idle thoughts always land on her.  Wondering what could have been, I realize I can’t forget something I never knew.  So I go back to what I do know.  My soul feels quiet remembering her.
Celie B.  First Christmas, 2007

She made kazoo noises -for hours- at cousin Judd in the back of a rental van on a Florida freeway.  She was five months old and it was her first, and only, trip to the beach.  During that vacation, when she wasn't making kazoo noises, she was squealing with glee.

She crawled in a circle through the rooms on our main floor.  Both of our moms had told us, when we'd been searching for our first home, to look for place with a path for kids to traverse, and her rounds proved their advice sound.  The first time she crawled, I'd used Cheerios as motivation.  Andy left work early so he could witness her new development, and her going was slow enough that part of the trail still lay ahead by the time he got home. 

She learned to drink through a straw when we were at Circuit City shopping for a portable DVD player for a long car ride to Iowa.  She wasn't yet a year old and we wandered the store taking turns hunched over, her fingers gripping ours as she toddled and tasted.  It was a Planet Smoothie Screamsicle shake.  And she was in love at first sip.

She was, by turns, introverted and extroverted.  She played quietly, processed information, demonstrated restraint.  She was also energized by the world, hollering "hello" to strangers and waving wildly at cars and squirrels.
She was perfect.  Everything was perfect.  Until it wasn't.

I record these things because they come to mind.  They’re just simple memories.  But I don’t want to forget.


zarniegall said...

No matter what...they are still memories...You can see how Tuck looks so much like Celia in this photo!! Melts my heart for Christmas : ) Thank you so much for sharing!!

Poppy John said...

"I see you"...Avatar(2009)


Beth Ann said...

When the day comes that Celia's gone, memories are what you'll have left. Rerun them through your head a zillion times a day if that's what it takes to remember those moments "before". Relish them, take comfort in them, find joy in them; but whatever you do, don't feel uncomfortable for doing all that you can to preserve them in your mind.

Tiffany said...

I love these memories. I find that the simple memories are often the best ones. I like hearing these too...

Debi said...

Treasure those sweet memories. I guess more than anyting, on this journey with you, I am learning to appreciate the small things and take nothing for granted and to show all the love you can today. I am thankful for these lessons.
Love and hugs and prayers,

rht said...

And I'll bet she said, "Mmmmmm" when she tasted that Screamcicle shake. I can still hear the appreciative, almost multi-syllabic "Mmm-mmm" sound Celia produced whenever her tastebuds were tickled.