Memories can be very wonderful; memories can be difficult. But memories are necessary. Memories help make us who we are, and memories can help us get beyond ourselves to become who we can be.
We went to Iowa for the first time since we've moved back to the Midwest. It was also the first time we've gotten to see my grandmother since she had a stroke. Seeing her that way wasn't easy. I hate the way that the effects of The Fall ravage our bodies in terrible ways. I wondered, as I did with Beth's dad who also had a stroke-effect, what her brain is able to process that she isn't able to communicate. I spent a lot of time remembering growing up with my grandparents and what their farmhouse was like before it was torn down. There were a lot of good memories there.
My sister rode down with us; her twin drove up, bringing Anders' favorite cousin Ethan with as well as Nils' favorite "cousin" Bella (Amy's dog). We had fun playing in the swimming pool, catching lightning bugs/fire flies and watching the boys play together (as well as sleep after long days).
It was good to be back on the farm amidst wide open spaces, refreshing breezes and more natural sounds (missing the noise-polluting traffic and airplanes). It was good to see the boys interact with family who
m they've missed out on the past year. It was good to see my grandma smiling as she watched the boys playing and just having a time to visit with her. It was good to let Nils have his first tractor ride.
It is hard going back and wanting to see so many people (both in the area where I grew up and in the area we used to live about 45 miles from there), but at the same time wanting a slow, relaxing weekend. It was hard, as I said, to see the effects the stroke had on my grandma as well as the effects of cancer on another friend. It was hard to pick out something memorable out of what was left in my grandparents' home (but that we would also have space for).
We also got to see a lot of our old friends at P-Cov when we went to church there. Afterward, we had a picnic with many of our old camp staff friends. The boys had fun playing with the Peterson kids--I think Anders may have a new girlfriend. Children do so well at spending time together instantaneously. They don't need to get to know the other first. They just take the moment and have fun. Maybe that's another part of having "faith like a child."