Today I find myself quietly reflecting on my family. Not just Brendan Bjorn – who currently has a fever and is laying in his bed unwell. And not just Declan – who is in school and I’m sure excited that it’s a Friday. Instead, I’m thinking about my family that is gone…my mother, her mother, and those I never knew but whose ancestral influence is ever present in my own life. You see, all of my belongings that were left at my ex-partner’s rental house are today being moved into my current disasterous rental house to join with the overwhelming stacks of boxes, and once again seeing some of these precious, cherished heirlooms and photos has left me feeling sentimental and contemplative.
And I wonder, what would they think of my life, my family, of Brendan Bjorn, and the situation we find ourselves in regarding housing and healthcare?
Min bestemor…my grandmother…Mae Bjorneby, a lovely Norwegian lady who once explained to me how the cocoa puffs she just gave me would turn the milk chocolate if I gave them a stir. It is a memory that, to this day, enters my mind every time I see the cereal. I was amazed that she knew such a fantastic way to make my beloved chocolate milk! What would she say to me now, if she could? How would she feel about our life such as it is? Would she be disappointed in me? Would she extend a helping hand and keep us from sinking? Would she pour a bowl of cocoa puffs for Declan and tell him about the chocolate milk, just to see him smile? I think she would.
Memories are such a powerful force. They can bring pain, joy, laughter or tears. Sometimes, they bring all of those things in one swirling moment that leaves a person feeling much as I do right now – contemplative and sentimental. It can be overwhelming, to say the least.
I find strength in memories and in reflecting on my family – both the family I have now in my two sons, and the family that has gone before me. I take encouragement from the stories they have left behind of their trials in life which they overcame with fortitude and resilience. I smile as I think of their own youthful days as I look through photos and old letters and even my grandmother’s old ukulele with a case covered in signatures of friends and family from both Norway and America.
And I wonder, some day in the future, will Declan’s children look back at photos of me and be able to find encouragement when they hear from him the stories of our current trials in life which require that inherited fortitude and resilience?
I would like to think they will.