The Rear View Mirror


“Writing is a struggle against silence.” – Carlos Fuentes

Below was originally posted on the Finding Inner Strength Together (FIST) blog:

I was thinking of our daughters this morning during my quiet commute along Bodega Drive.  It’s relatively easy to allow your mind to wander when your transit does not include the business end of a creamery truck in your windshield.  My thoughts about the girls were focused on how we [all four of us] have completely broken the mold on many things as they relate to our culture.  For instance, we do not own a set of china that is normally passed down from generation to generation.  We do not own a scrapbook of childhood photographs to break out on rainy Saturday evenings to take our daughters down memory lane and show them what mom and dad looked like in their youth, nor do we own any old home movies that we could digitize onto a DVD.  Many years ago, on a post-Christmas day morning, with 9800 pounds of household goods freshly packed in the garage we suffered a house fire and those five tons of memories packed in paper and cardboard were no match for the electrical fire which started in the garage.  Bonnie and I had exactly one decade under our belt as a married couple and I jokingly said to her while driving to a friends’ home “if you want to leave me now, all you need is a garbage bag!”  The home was restored in short order and we carried on, though for a number of years when the question was asked “have you seen (fill in with almost anything)?”… the collective response is almost always “the fire.” Believe me, this post is not a pity party, in fact, it’s just the opposite.  We look at “home” as the place we hang our hat and although my wife may not have her crystal from Ireland or the china her loving mother passed onto her any longer, what we do have is our family and a knowledge of who we are in the moment.  Even though the rear view mirror reads “objects appear closer than they really are” the four of us know what our history is and we’re pretty darn proud of it.  This past Mother’s Day I was reminded how strong this group is while listening to our youngest daughter talking about a recent weekend, one in which they were able to spend together as mother and daughter and the pride in our little girl’s face as she talked made me realize the gifts we share with each other are the bonds that will last forever.  No materials or gifts can ever replace the conscious knowledge of knowing we’ve raised these girls of ours exactly as planned – as adults.  The countdown for our oldest returning from across the pond has started in earnest … eight days and counting!  It really was a happy Mother’s Day.

Love,

Paul

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