In Search of Short Term Memory

Another fair warning, Gentle Reader. This is a ramble, unstructured and without a worthy conclusion.

A conscious decision needs to be made.
Forget it.
Forget the list.
Forget the spider web of thought that clings with sticky residue.
Move all those moments of meanness out…away…gone.
Erase any long term lingering thoughts that keep the dregs fresh.

This isn’t forgive and forget. Too often forgive is a phantom, only vague and indistinct. We think we forgive. We say we do. But the next time a pinch happens, the dregs resurface, good as new. Forgiveness is hard.

There is the forgiveness of the Bible, 70 X 7. Corinthians admonishes not to keep a record. “It is in God’s hands” is a waver and a waver diminishes my responsibility. St. Francis’ verse is a goal, but pretty impossible for most of us. And there is that “if only” as in If Only She/He would apologize, all would be forgiven. Not so. It helps but forgiveness needs much more. Forgiveness needs change. I might forgive 71 X 7, but by that time, my turn is definitely winding down.

Some would say that those ‘dregs’ are life lesson…that we need them to make good decisions. Maybe. And maybe they are stepping stones to a better way of handling those life lessons.

And I admit that forgetting is as close to impossible as forgiving. Further, I know that I need to step away from several ‘lists’ that have been growing uglier. And I am trying. But how does a person step away without walking away? How can we forget without relegating the person to a totally different place in our life?

Disengage? Disengage from the patterns that allow the list. But that comes very close to disengaging from the person. And sometimes keeping a person close might be worth fighting the list and accepting that getting pinched is part of the bargain. But why must renewable pain be part of a relationship? How important is it to stay close to hit-and-run?

Wish I could ramble this one to some kind of conclusion. I can’t.

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Snapshots

by Pat Antonopoulos

Steve and Lisa walk across the field separating our places. They come bearing gifts.
Lisa has read our book, Four Ordinary Women, and she talks about her reactions to our words, to our stories, to our connections with her life. They are a wonderful couple with earth solid values and hearts stretched by years of sharing their values. To me, they look like a young couple in love with one another, not old enough to have a married daughter and a college son.
Lisa brings the gift of validation. Through our book, we have touched her deeply. She wants copies to share our stories with her family.
And eggs…fresh eggs from their hens.
Body and spirit are fed.

Mary Ann phones and asks that I meet her where she is working on St. Anthony’s fundraiser dinner. She is a friend from high school…fifty three years since that graduation. “For my boyfriend”, she says as she hands me a bag of candy—mostly chocolate. She always refers to Bob as her boyfriend. “The second sack is for your Sammy”. Sammy loves flashlights and Mary Ann has given us a jack-o-lantern light complete with batteries. Mary Ann has never met Sammy, but she loves him because I do.

A 75 year old man, Bob, is using a come-a-long to ratchet a four hundred pound tractor tire off the lug nuts and closer to the trailer. By himself.
By himself—he gets is handled. I do the step-and-fetch-it kind of things, helping where I can. But he does it….by himself. Finally, we have the huge tire loaded on the trailer and are heading towards Platte City where a repair shop can fix the damage.

Once we find the place, a young man named ‘Bud’ (honestly) and his helper roll the tire off the trailer, smiling as they ask how we managed to get it off the tractor, onto the trailer and delivered. He said, “You guys are still smiling??” He was so like by Uncle Bud—tall, strong and the definition of good natured. This young man honored what my husband had handled. I like that a lot.

My friend just phoned with a story of her weekend trip to Texas. She shared the touching moments, the poignant sense of this beautiful story. She gave me a part of her daughters…handed their beauty to me. A gift.

Snapshots.
My album is rich with amazing people.