It's amazing how one small thing can make a million memories come rushing back to you. Last night, my roommate announced that dinner was ready -- soup and rolls. I walked into the kitchen, filled my bowl with soup, a cup with water, and on the way to the living room juggled a roll in between the two. I sat down on the couch tuning into Ever After on the television and caught a glimpse of the Christmas tree in the corner as I took a bite of my roll. That one small bite immediately made me feel like I was back in Mississippi sitting at my grandparent's round table in their small, bottom floor apartment.
The holidays for me always open up a floodgate of memories. I remember that to get to my Dad's parent's apartment we had to drive down the "never-ending road", what my sister's and I called the interstate. Once off the exit we would take the road that passed in front of the shopping center that contained a Fred's and winded back eventually leading to the apartment. My Nanny loved Fred's, she always wanted to go inside. And anytime it was mentioned my Pop would just grunt, his equivalent of "no." I remember we always parked to the left of the apartment building and their's was the one under the staircase and to the left. It was a small place with equally small rooms, but around the holidays, it was full of people. You couldn't open the door without hitting someone. Pop was always in his chair, the round table behind him, Nanny in the kitchen. Deviled eggs and those rolls. Two things that will always take me back to that small apartment. That and Easter egg hunts. Because I'll never forget the year I actually found the golden egg with money inside. I'll also never forget returning to that apartment some time later to sort through all of their things after Pop's passing. Piles of photo albums, boxes and boxes full of tapes with Pop's preaching, and stacks of his Bibles that are now in my parent's house. Nanny moved in with us for a little while after Pop's passing and I remember sitting beside her on the couch as she checked her blood sugar every morning. I also remember her liking honey buns. Another something small that brings back memories every time I see a box of them in the grocery store.
Now, Nanny and Pop have both passed, but the memories will always stay. I pray they always stay. And I pray they always come flooding back with the bite of a roll or a deviled egg. Or the singing of Amazing Grace or whenever I look at a lake. Or whenever Mom makes duck dressing at Thanksgiving just like Nanny did. Or when we are flipping through old family photo albums, looking through Pop's typewritten sermons, or walking down the halls of the church where Pop's picture hangs on the wall. Or whenever the sweet, older ladies speak about how wonderful my Nanny was and they show us a picture they found with them and her laughing. Legacies and memories that I pray always stay.
And it makes me wonder what memories I'm making now. In fifty years, what small moment will take me back to this one today? What small moment will take me back to my small apartment, sitting on the couch eating soup with my roommate? What small moment will take me back to sharing Thanksgiving with my Mom and Dad in their home in Alabama, us around the table, enjoying family recipes, and resting on the couch. What small moment will take me back to cooking with Mom in the kitchen or watching football with Dad? What small moment will take me back to holding my niece or playing cards with my nephews? What small moment will take them back to memories of time spent with me? Small moments lead to big memories of legacies left. Enjoy the small, quiet moments. Because one day that something small memory, like a roll, will send you swimming into an ocean of memories.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Enjoy remembering the memories and enjoy making new ones!
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