Our grown children had just spent a glorious weekend with us, our first together in thirty years. It had been a great weekend being just the four of us again: Mom, Dad, and two kids. (Not their families.)
Driving home from the airport, after their departure, I realized how we had looked forward to their arrival. How carefully we had planned each day, each meal, each event; then with the wink of an eye, the days were all in our rearview mirror. The only things that remained were our memories, and the thoughts of love, caring, talking, finding out about their families and plans for their future.
Now, as I look back over my eighty-plus years, it is interesting for me to think how many things are focused in my mirror. In clear vision I see my boyhood, teen years, Army, marriage, career, births, deaths, and health of friends.
Would I have changed things? What would I have done differently? Could I have done a better job helping someone? Could I have used my time to a better advantage? I guess these questions are asked by each one of us. Everyone owns his or her mirror to gaze into with questions.
Can you remember those happy times with family or friends that bring a smile to your face even years later? The feeling of being loved by mom or dad when you felt so sad? That glorious feeling of getting an A on a final exam? We all bring them out from time to time to relish their sweet savor.
Then, there are the difficult times. I was a ten year old boy during WWII, and my father worked long hours in Chicago. There were one hundred cattle on feed, and no hired man, just me to grind the feed, feed all those cattle, and bed down the barn after returning from school. I remember my very cold hands and feet coming into the farmhouse after four hours of very difficult labor.
No complaints from me. Just a glimpse in my own rearview mirror. Memories are just snapshots of life that help us have a better future.