Memories are for Christmas

I was rummaging through the garage the other day looking for some Christmas decorations when I stumbled upon a long forgotten box of story notes, scripts and sketch books, primarily belonging to my husband, who is also a writer, Bob Rector. You might have read some of his articles here on Impakter about his involvement in the early days of music videos. Anyway, I picked up a sketch book and a priceless piece of paper fell out. It was written by Bob in 1993 and stars the indomitable Zack, our dachshund who I wrote about in my last article “Dog is God Spelled Backwards!”

Reading Bob’s brief account of our household twenty-one years ago was like time-traveling for me. He gave a crystal-clear description of each person caught in an instant of time and I was moved to happy tears by the memory. I would like to share it with you here, just as I read it, in Bob’s handwriting, in Bob’s words and complete with an hysterical sketch of Zack’s face.

The thing that caught me off guard was the date, June 5, 1993, because as I read it I could have sworn this took place at Christmas. There was no mention of Christmas, but it just felt like it: warm, joyful, loving and deeply personal. I could almost hear wood crackling in the fireplace and see the reflections of lights and decorations in the window. And I wondered why this brief chronicle of our lives would automatically make me think of Christmas. And I decided it’s because every good, beautiful memory is like a gift, a Christmas gift that can be opened over and over again.

 Now there are many writers, philosophers and psychologists who say that we should leave our past behind us. Some great thinkers tell us that if we hold on to our past, we are doomed to have old baggage drag us down, and negative triggers continue to plague us with repeating unhealthy habits. According to them, we should practice present moment awareness.

I beg to differ. I believe that who I am is a conglomeration of a bunch of present moment awareness events: memories, good and bad. Yes, we all have things we’d like to forget, painful recollections that make us wince when we’re reminded of them. Wince or worse. But for me, those are a part of who I am too, I just don’t want to dwell on those. I want to focus on what went right in my life, those moments that stay with me forever because they are so vibrant that they have imprinted me in every way that’s lovely. I can still see, smell, taste and feel those precious bits of time as if they were literally yesterday. I’m sure you have those too.

As for me, I’ll go with a pretty solid thinker by the name of Dostoevsky. You see, next to the page with Bob’s story of our household was another piece of paper with this quote printed on it:

“You are told a lot about your education, but some beautiful, sacred memory, preserved since childhood, is perhaps the best education of all. If a man carries many such memories into life with him, he is saved for the rest of his days. And even if only one good memory is left in our hearts, it may also be the instrument of our salvation one day.”

“The instrument of our salvation.” A powerful statement.

What a wonderful gift I received when I opened that box from the past. When Bob wrote it so long ago, he had no idea it would mean so much to me to find it decades later. It made me wonder what I am doing today that will set up good memories for those I love in the days and years to come. For me, that’s where the importance of living in the moment comes in, the significance of every single day. We never know when we might do some kind gesture for someone that might be their “instrument of salvation” at a dark moment. That means I can be part of helping someone else in their search for being and staying happy. And I’m all about that!

So Merry Christmas to you. May you find the gift of cherished memories tucked under your own little Christmas tree inside yourself. It is my hope that the coming days bring you opportunities for more exceptional memories to be created. But if for some reason this Christmas isn’t full of all that’s positive and encouraging for you, don’t forget the treasures that are with you still, inside your heart and mind. After all, Christmas is for memories.

About the Author /

After years of producing Corporate Theatre for clients such as IBM and Coca-Cola, Marsha Roberts developed, produced and marketed Letters From The Front, the only professional theatrical production to tour American military bases around the world. This heartfelt show touched hundreds of thousands of lives, toured the United States and abroad for fifteen years and was the first play ever to perform at the Pentagon. It became known as The World's Most Decorated Play. The daunting process of getting this never-been-done-before production off the ground and onto a worldwide stage gave her a keen awareness of what it takes to overcome life’s obstacles and find the miraculous in the commonplace. She shares many of her experiences in her inspirational memoir "Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant." Kirkus Reviews reported that her book is "An optimistic look at the magic of life" and it is a bestseller in Amazon's Happiness Category, which makes her very happy!

Comments(4)

  • Claude Nougat

    December 24, 2014

    Great piece, Marsha Roberts, I especially like your conclusion. Even if this is not the most perfect of Christmases, “don’t forget the treasures that are with you still”! You always manage to see the silver lining and stay on the sunny side of the street. That is absolutely extraordinary, Bob Rector is very lucky to have you as his constant companion through all these years!

  • Marsha Roberts

    December 24, 2014

    Thank you, Claude, and I am most fortunate to have Bob as my constant companion for all these years. You can imagine what a treasure I found when that little piece of paper slipped out unexpectedly. Merry Christmas, Claude, to you & yours!

  • Carolyn Injoy

    December 31, 2014

    Thank you for sharing wonderful memories. I can just ‘see’ Zach flattened looking for you at the door, tail waving happily. Shared this on my fb page Things That Bring Me Pleasure

    • Marsha Roberts

      January 1, 2015

      Great to have you stop by Carolyn! You share so many lovely things “that bring you pleasure” on Facebook and you give us great pleasure by sharing. Happy New Year Carolyn and God bless you and yours!

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