Have you ever thought back on the people who have left permanent imprints in your memory–people who have taught you something without knowing they were teaching, or encouraged you during a tough season?
Strangers cross our path daily, as we cross theirs. Some make eye contact; others hurry on in their rush. Some smile; others look away–missed opportunities to share a moment in time. This week I’ve been remembering folks from my childhood who nudged me along – teachers like Mrs. Crandall who taught first grade and made learning fun; grownups at my childhood church who made a special effort to greet me each Sunday morning; and neighbors like the Kolouseks who welcomed our big family into the house next door and grew flowers so huge, they hung over the fence. Then there was Hassie Belle, a sweet old Southern lady who taught me that money doesn’t matter, but what’s inside a person. And Laura, who loved our children as if they were her own grandchildren, and wrote newsy letters to us long after we moved to the West coast. Even after she could no longer write them herself, she would dictate letters to us from her bed in a nursing home.
I’ve had friends both young and old, and each have left their unique mark on my life. Many of them are now gone, but certainly not forgotten. I hear their voices echoed in some of the phrases I find myself using. I remember their encouragement and their stories–oh, the stories from people like Margaret, who grew up in a sod house in North Dakota with 11 siblings and made her way West during the terrible duststorms of the 30s.
Today’s image is “Gone But Not Forgotten”. I photographed a pile of dried zinnias. Dried flowers smell so good–just like the sweet memories of those who have crossed my path and given so freely of themselves.