Be Sure to Cherish & Frequently Recall Precious Memories
I simply had to get up out of bed to write this. It feels that significant to me, even though I may end up failing in my attempt to do what I’m now going to try to do, without further ado.
I was in bed, meditating, segueing from mind to no mind, from a state of compaction to a state of expansion, and so on.
I was meditating on the subject of light.
(Alas, this post may wind up, sadly, sounding self-aggrandizing, and I apologize for that in advance because the reason for writing it isn’t about me at all, but about what each of us has done for others without even trying, and without necessarily even understanding how or why it happened. This post is chiefly about remembering to cherish precious memories when they resurrect themselves during moments of silent reflection, because they help remind us of gifts we give without even realizing it.)
I was lying in bed looking outside and upward into the night sky, moon-gazing. Clouds, both light and very dark, kept passing between the bright, sun-illuminated moon and my field of view. I watched them go by, briefly dimming and at times almost obscuring the moonlight that had so captured my attention while I was thinking about the absolute requirement that all living beings have for natural night. Even the beings living in the deepest parts of the ocean and in caves that never receive sunlight depend on sunlight for the processes that keep them alive. I recently learned that our very DNA requires light, and is, in fact, made of light.
So, as I gazed around my darkened bedroom — darkened except for the light that was reflecting off the moon, for all other artificial light in my bedroom was extinguished — my eyes fell on the shower curtain I have placed over my closet door opening. On the curtain is a burro. The words on the curtain are the first two lines from the song You Are My Sunshine.
I bought the curtain because it reminds me that, as a teenager, when I asked my Mom what song reminded her of me (the result of a school English assignment), she said, “You Are My Sunshine.” Seeing the curtain calls Mom to mind, even as it reminds me of something about myself that I wasn’t aware of until she brought it up with her sweet comment. “Because you make me happy when skies are gray.”
That memory reminded me that Carolyn Kelley called me her “Cheerful Little Earful.”
She said it so many times that I finally thought to respond, “Thank you!”
Then she asked me, “You know that song, don’t you?”
She was flabbergasted. So she sang me the first bit of it and then said, “You’re my cheerful little earful. You always sound so cheerful.”
“Yes, you do! Does that surprise you?”
I said, “Well, I’m always cheerful around you, because you make me cheerful!”
“Do I?” She giggled at that. (Maybe that was news to her, too! I didn’t ask.)
Later, when I was caring for De (DeForest Kelley), I met his and Carolyn’s next door neighbor, Don Catherwood. Don was collecting their mail while both of them were laid up in the hospital, so I would stop by to get it. He’d invite me in and we’d chat for a while, commiserating on the sad fate that both of the Kelley’s were experiencing, Carolyn with a broken leg and De with terminal cancer. We’d do our best to cheer each other up, but we were both going to be losing the dearest man (as was Carolyn) either of us had ever known, so it was quite the task. Somehow, we managed.
One day Don went to visit De and Carolyn at the hospital. The next time I stopped by to see De, he was the very personification of “grinning mischief” from ear to ear, lying there in his hospital bed. I smiled back, furrowed my brow, and inquired, “Okay, what’s up?”
He responded, “Don stopped by for a visit, as you know. But just about all he did was talk about you, saying what a delight you are, and how smart, and hard-working, and kind, and all the rest. He finally said to me, ‘Do you know what you have there?!” as if we were oblivious! I told him, “Yes, Don, we’ve known Kris for quite a while…” but he just went on and on. It put me in mind of that movie where Nicolas Cage tells Cher he thinks he’s falling in love with her and she slaps him and says, “Snap out of it!”
I laughed. It was a high compliment, but it seemed kinda silly and outrageous to me that I would impress anybody all that much.
Then De said, “You know, we talk about you all the time to each other and to our friends, but we have never really told you how we feel.”
I responded sincerely, “You have shown me how you two feel. You don’t need to tell me.”
He said, “Well, that’s good. We’re very fond of you. So is Don!”
I laughed, “Well, that’s a new one on me, so thank you for that!”
Those three memories, combined, one right after the other, made me tear up. It also reminded me that it’s what I hope to accomplish with my upcoming every-other-Saturday podcast, EVER NEW (which debuts this coming Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time on the NDBMedia Twitch TV page), and even with these blog posts. I want to be a cheerful little earful, a ray of sunshine when skies are grey. I don’t necessarily want anyone to fall in love with me (SNAP OUT OF IT!) but just loving me the usual way would be a real bonus.
My problem is that sometimes I forget to focus on things that lift people’s spirits. I forget (too often) that part of my mission, apparently, is to shine a little additional light into people’s lives. Tonight’s meditation on the essential need for light has reminded me to place it uppermost in my mind.
I hope this post encourages you to recall those moments in your life when people paid you sincere compliments. Remembering will lift your spirits and remind you of yet another reason why you’re here. If you did something memorable for one or two or more people, you can do it for even more of them. All you need to do is remember how good it felt to discover that you managed to lift someone’s burdens (whatever they were) without even knowing it, or even necessarily meaning to.
We can all do something to shine some light into other people’s lives.
I pledge myself tonight to remember that. My shower curtain in the bedroom — especially on a moon-lit night like this one — is my reminder from Mom to make people happy when skies are gray.
Whose spirits are you lifting tomorrow and the next day? Working together, we can light the world! Let’s do that!
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