It’s raining. My kids are finally asleep and I’m staring out the window. The numbers on the side of the road are going up, so I know I’m traveling farther and farther away from a memory that I hold so dear. My sister graduated from college this weekend, so we took our first road trip as a family of four. Needless to say, both me and my husband now have gray hair. Well, maybe just him.
We are on our way home.
I could sit here and reflect on how many extra hours it took to get to our destination, how my baby daughter cried almost the entire way, or how my son has no concept of loudness, but I won’t. Yes, those things are exhausting but they make up a memory and I cherish them; the good and the not so good.
To me, memories are like chapters of a book you have already read. There are good chapters and bad chapters. Chapters full of love and chapters full of heartache. chapters make up a book. Chapters are what make up a story.
Memories are the chapters of the storybook of life.
Everyone’s are different. You can’t take them away or change them, but you can re-read or reflect on them and maybe see something in a way you never did before. You can learn from them. They can teach you to be thankful and remind you of wonderful times; they can even cause pain and remind you of hard times.
You see, my sister just graduated college from Radford University, which is where I graduated from as well. Being back on campus brought back so many wonderful memories of that chapter in my life. Just seeing the mountains, the beautiful campus and even local restaurants reminded me of my sweet roommates, college classes and date nights with my husband. Radford is about 20 minutes from Virginia Tech, which is where my husband went to school. When we drove by I could have cried. I love that campus so dearly, but I will never forget the tragedy that happened there 7 years ago, when I was a senior.
Part of me wishes that I would have sat in the grass one more time on the main quad lawn at Radford or on the Drill Field at Virginia Tech. But you know what? It wouldn’t be the same.
When we were leaving our hotel in Blacksburg, my husband said, ” I remember when this place was being built. I would’ve never guessed that we would be staying here with our two kids seven years later.”
I finished my college chapter years ago, but it sure was sweet to revisit those great memories.
My current life chapter is turning into a wonderful, but not necessarily easy one. Having kids is exhausting and I hope I’m reassuring other mothers when I say that some days I feel like I’m losing my mind. Whether it’s mindless mommy moments, sassy kids or just plain exhaustion, some days need a do over. That’s what tomorrow is for I guess; more importantly, that’s what God’s grace is all about.
This chapter of my life has been filled with learning how to be a responsible and motivated mother and wife, supporting friends in need, and watching my daughter start to crawl and my little boy grow into one big helper. One things’s for sure, between the boogers and the bittersweet changes that come with a new day, I’m learning to take the little things in stride…time moves ever so quickly.
So yes, my college days are over and yes, it’s totally bittersweet. But there is nowhere I’d rather be on this very day then sitting in a cramped car with my husband and kids; well maybe not the cramped part… It was worth it to watch my sister graduate.
People say that life’s chapters define us. That’s true, in part. Some define who we are, while some define who we were. Regardless, these chapters certainly make up our story and for that, I am truly thankful
.I hope that her new life chapter is as exciting as the one that just finished. I hope that she would look back on her undergraduate days and see all that she has accomplished, grown and learned from. But most importantly though, my hope is that she embraces tomorrow.
Photo credit goes to my three-year-old. He took this picture. in his stroller. with an iPhone. in the pouring rain.