We celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary in a unique way today.
We took a literal trip down memory lane. We made a list of some of the important local landmarks in our life, revisited them and took pictures and reminisced.
We went back to the places we had lived … our first apartments and the little house that was home from 1979 to 1994.
We marveled at how big we once thought it was. We moved from a one bedroom apartment to a three bedroom house with a basement, a big yard and a creek.
It really didn’t seem to matter that those bedrooms were tiny as was the one bathroom.
It really didn’t matter that there was no garage and we were going to have to chip ice off the car to get in and shiver while it warmed up.
We had a house. And over the years we brought home one adorable baby girl and added later, eight cats, three rabbits and one hamster (at different times).
Our yard had the best hill in the neighborhood for sledding. We had a creek with crawdads, which Jennifer and Jay loved … me not so much.
We had family celebrations and parties with friends and neighbors. We made every occasion a reason to celebrate life.
Our baby grew up there, going through all the stages that transformed her into a pre-teen by the time we moved.
We grew too, going from young adulting to middle age adulting. We moved through various stages, as we learned more about God’s Design for marriage.
While we were cruising the neighborhood today, we saw an older man walking his dogs. He looked familiar. We then processed it was one of our former neighbors.
We stopped and talked. It was as if no time had passed. Same smile. Same laugh. Same jokes as years ago. It felt warm and familiar. Even though we could not walk back into our physical old home, God let us go home.
The day we moved to our new home in 1994, Jay and Jennifer left first, excited about moving into our much larger new home. I stayed behind to close up. When I shut the front door for the last time, I sat on the steps outside and cried.
As happy as I was to move on, I did not like the feeling that I could not return to that place in the same way ever again.
Our precious next door neighbor, affectionately called Granny, came over and sat with me.
She cried too. When I shared my feelings, she said, “Oh honey, you will always have a home here too. Just come back and sit with me on my porch.”
It helped. I was finally able to move on with Granny waving in my rear view mirror. Granny moved to Heaven some years back, so she wasn’t there today.
But I felt her sweet spirit, and I sense she will be waiting for me on Heaven’s front porch one day.
While God does not want us to live in the past, I think He gives us precious memories for a reason. Sometimes He allows us to return to places where Love grew to remind us how very special it was and how it is still growing, even now.
Our trip down memory lane was the perfect Anniversary Gift. I am so blessed to still be making memories.
The Lord brought this scripture to mind tonight. Interestingly, it is chapter 77. We got married in 1977!
I will remember the deeds of The Lord; yes, I will remember Your Wonders of old.