Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Looking forward to Nostalgia being a thing of the past.



nos·tal·gia

  [no-stal-juh, -jee-uh, nuh-]  Show IPA
–noun
1.
a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a formertime in one's life, to one's home or homeland, or to one'sfamily and friendsa sentimental yearning for the happinessof a former place or time: a nostalgia for his college days.
2.
something that elicits or displays nostalgia.
Origin: 
1770–80;  < Neo-Latin  < Greek nóst os a return home + -algia -algia


nos·tal·gic, adjective
nos·tal·gi·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged 
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2011. 

I caught part of an episode of Clean House the other day, and one moment stood out to me. A young girl was asked to give up her piano, which she infrequently played, to make room for the new room design. When asked why it was important to her, she became teary when she responded that it reminded her of her grandmother, who had passed away. Her response led me to think about why it is that we become attached to physical objects in this world. I’m one of the worst for this… some may refer to it as being a pack rat, I prefer to think that I’m just sentimental. It can be hard to let go of physical objects when we attach such emotional meaning to them.

It can be amusing when we stop to take a look at some of the things we attach to our memories. I keep thinking of an old episode of Full House where Kimmy and DJ were calling their friendship quits and giving back all their keepsakes. I don’t remember all of the keepsakes, but I remember some of them being very strange, such as one of the girls giving back the other’s dental retainer. I’m sure you’ve all either kept something strange as a keepsake or know others that have. People tend to keep things like an article of clothing that was worn at a special occasion long after it can be worn (on that note, still haven’t decided what to do with my wedding dress…), movie tickets, dried flowers, wedding napkins, autographs (just ink on paper, right?)… I know of people keeping their baby’s umbilical cord stump once it’s fallen off, or keeping all of their children’s baby teeth. In all honesty though, what do you DO with all of these things?? I’ve been guilty of keeping some strange stuff myself that, when I went back years later, I wondered, “why did I keep that?”

The point is, we have a tough time moving forward sometimes. Things are always changing. We’re always getting older. Nothing will ever be the same. That’s a phrase that has gone through my head so often lately. Nothing will ever be the same. Our family will never be the same. I will never be the same. When life changes, we change. We can’t go back to how things were, and that can be scary. It’s easy to become nostalgic in such a fast paced, ever-changing world. We were designed to live in paradise with our Heavenly Father. When selfishness (sin) entered the world, the security and stability of paradise were lost on this earth, and we continue to long for it. As time flies past us, we grasp at it and come out with scattered memories and mementos of what’s already behind. We can’t slow it down. This wasn’t how God designed it to be, but mankind used our God-given free will and made it that way.

BUT, Praise God, this world isn’t the end. We were given another chance to enjoy the peace, comfort, and stability of Heaven. I look forward to the day when nostalgia is in the past (ha!). I look forward to not having a longing for what’s past but to be content with current existence. I look forward to not missing loved ones or good times, or not worrying about what I need to do next.

In the mean time, I want to focus on the mementos that keep me Heavenly minded. Isn’t that what cemeteries should be, after all? We look at death as some horrible thing, but for a child of God, it is a release into God’s very presence. We long for the ones who have gone on, and it’s so easy to want to go back to the times we had with them because that’s what we know. It’s hard to imagine what we’ve not yet experienced, but the more I learn about Heaven, the more I desire to go forward.

Over the weekend, I went to Carys’ grave. I listened to the audio clips on my phone of the sweet little noises she made after she was born. I wanted to tell her again how much we love her and miss her here. I wanted to apologize that I didn’t have anything there for her, and when I went back to take some flowers for her grave, I wanted to apologize I didn’t have something better, since I’d used what I had on hand. I wanted to talk to her… but I kept thinking, “she’s not really here.” Monday, I went to get flowers to make a more personalized arrangement for Carys’ grave. I know she’s not really there, but I need the reminder. I need to focus on the glimpse of Heaven we were blessed to see while we had Carys in our arms. After all, that’s what it’s really all about! So, as soon as I can, I'll take the new flowers to her grave to say, "I remember, and I'm looking forward." See you soon, baby girl... i love you!


So, what strange mementos or keepsakes have you all found yourself keeping?

(Some people have told me they’ve had difficulty posting comments here. If you have trouble, please let me know at kitchen.ak@gmail.com... thanks!)

9 comments:

Holly said...

People def do attach emotions to objects. I know I do, esp to Carleigh's things. I have attachment to my scrapbooks and pictures and to my Midnight Orange sculptures. But the fact is we can't take any of it w/ us when we leave this world.

I love Carys' flowers. They are so pretty!

Donna Carver said...

I have the curls from Nathaniels first haircut.. and I keep stones I pick up during special moments.. and I keep a dried flower from bouquets that Nathaniel gets me since they are rare and special because I let him pick the flowers. I also keep my journals, and on occasion, I let him draw on a page and I write what it is and date it.

Papaw Jim said...

I will NEVER Forget Our Baby Girl, and One day I will get to hold her again. Love you Sugar!

Erin said...

Pictures, pictures, and more pictures are what I hold on to along with postcards, booklets, and other written material. I actually brought home two empty Coca-Cola bottles from Germany in 1999. I was so intrigued that they were glass and, of course, I loved the writing on them.

Keri Kitchen said...

Erin... you'll appreciate this, i've kept things like... penguin wrappers!! that brings memories, doesn't it??

Erin said...

Yum, penguins! I think that we need to take a trip to the UK to get some! I'll come help you pack up Paxton; Aaron is a big boy and can take care of himself. And we can be gone to make new memories :)

Jeremy M. said...

Penquin wrappers bring back memories for me as well:) They have them at World Market but they're not just the same as 8.5 years ago. Keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers Keri.

Ruthie said...

Keri,
I know what you mean about hanging on to things. I have hundreds of pictures that I do not want to part with. They are my memories of all my family that have already got to go to Heaven. You and your family are always in our prayers, Lewis and I are very proud of you and Aaron.
The flowers you made for little Carys are beautiful, and so is she. I can not get over all the wonderful pictures of little Paxton, he is beautiful and growing so fast. God is so good.

elena said...

What beautiful flowers! I love them!

My husband and I watched that episode as well as the one where they asked a woman to part with her great grandmother's recipe box.

I definitely have attachments to things especially with sentimental value. I keep the things Lilly touched.

Its definitely not anyone's place to get someone to get rid of something so treasured.

I did tell my husband that I thought maybe they were showing them that if they could part with this item, parting with everything else would be easier so that they would not hold onto too many things. I've thought about donating Lilly's carseat but I may or may not ever do it. I could always take a picture of it and change the covering so I could keep it, though we can't take any of it with us, and I would trade all the things for Lilly to be in my arms, I can't help but still be attached. *hugs*