I remember when I was a little girl sitting on the piano bench next to my mother, my legs swinging freely because they were too short to reach the floor, enthralled, watching her hands float over the ivory keys, hearing her soprano voice singing along, and being transported to another place by the sheer pleasure of it.
I remember my father nurturing and tending his irises, grapevines, and fruit trees when he wasn’t working. I always preferred playing hide and seek with my friends in my yard because I would always sneak behind the grape trellis and pluck away at the grapes as fast as I could, hoping no one would find me. Afterward, I would sit in the crook of a fruit tree, my legs dangling, biting into a pear or peach, and then wipe my sticky hands on the grass and running to my next adventure.
I remember my mother cutting a small bouquet from her numerous rose bushes still wet from the morning dew and wrapping them with wax paper for me to take to my teacher.
I remember in the summer sitting on the back porch step with a freshly-plucked ripe tomato from my father’s garden, sprinkling salt on top, and taking that first bite as the juices squirted all over me and giggling from the wonderful taste.
I remember my mother never wrote down recipes, not even her favorites. So when I was older, I had her sit down and list the ingredients and instructions, which I promptly filed away, only to laugh years later when I was newly married and finally read them. It was trial and error on my husband’s palate, experimenting with her ‘touch of this and handful of that, with a pinch on top’ until I got it just right.
I remember reclining on the grass under the massive oak trees in our backyard daydreaming and reading my favorite book of the moment, being carried to another world, totally captivated, and thankful the library kept me well supplied.
I remember my father always had a book in his hand, too, whether it was historical, biographical, or a scientific journal, while I sat in his lap pretending I was reading it, too. He would often read three books, alternating from one to the other. Love for the written word was passed from father, to daughter, to my three children.
I remember racing my bicycle down the hill of our street throwing my hands up in the air and feeling the wind rake it’s fingers through my hair, tossing it in all different directions. It was exciting to feel free and race against the wind. To this day, the small scars on my knees are a constant reminder of those thrill-seeking rides that occasionally ended with me spread-eagled on a neighbor’s lawn, laughing.
I remember the joy, the heartache, the laughter, the pain, and the numerous celebrations of the births and deaths of the lives of those I’ve loved and lost.
I remember the birth of my three sons like it was yesterday.
I remember reaching the goals I set for myself, and those I never met.
I try to remember to stay humble and gracious to those who believe in me.
It is important for me to remember, to look back, to remind myself never to forget what molded me into exactly who I am today so I will always try to keep my adventurous spirit, my fearlessness, and my love of life.
And most of all, I try to remember what is important and what is not.
Chase your dreams and remember everyday is a blessing.