I’ll Keep You Forever

Writer’s block.

That’s a common enough phrase or concept.

When it comes to this blog, I occasionally experience a few minutes or so in which I don’t know what direction to go in.

More often I experience the fear block.

Like today. Today I am writing here to avoid writing over there… There being one of four projects I need to work on.

I am afraid of my own dreams and desires. Isn’t that a kick in the pants? I am afraid of failure and almost paralyzed by it.

So in my fear, I experienced a little bit of writers block here–and then made the connection between writer’s block and memory block.

This is where it led me…

Sorrow, pain, and grief can sometimes make you have some memory blocks. It is possible to have memory blocks as a sort of protection against the pain. It is possible in your grief and sorrow to only remember certain things–particularly those things that are less painful.

From my long experience as a preacher, death often turns people into saints when the truth is they were normal people with the same flaws and predilections as anybody else. Or worse.

And me? I have some self imposed memory blocks I would really rather stay in place.
It is easier that way.
Less painful.
Less guilt to suffer.

I would much rather remember my son Cole as a happy young man who loved everybody he met–who would tease and aggravate and even turn on his own favorite football team if it meant he could get under your skin.

All those things are true.
Cole was a bundle of laughs and pure fun.
And he didn’t mind telling you so.

But the painful truth? He was just as often angry, mad, and in a level of pain that would have destroyed a lessor mortal.

That made for plenty of difficult days.
Bad days.
Horrible bad days.
Days in which everything got turned upside down and every which way.

Mom and Dad suffered on those days too. So did his brothers.
It was painful to watch.
It was painful if he got his hands on you.
It is painful still to remember and feel guilty about all the many ways this daddy didn’t always handle those episodes with the right patience, grace, and love.

Yes, I would rather have a memory block about Cole’s suffering and my inadequacies as a father.

I am thankful that as time progresses I think I find I am a bit easier on myself.
More understanding.
Less inclined to beat up on me.

In hindsight, I didn’t handle everything just right, but I was doing the best I knew how under difficult circumstances.

With that perspective in place, I am thankful for the good memories.
And grateful the bad are becoming less and less important to dwell on.

So here we are.
One of my favorite rock songs–sung by one of my favorite bands, Journey–is Stone In Love.

I’d like to end this little post by changing up the last couple of lines just a bit…

Oh the memories never fade away,
Golden boy, I’ll keep you forever…

cole

Love,

Dad…

9 thoughts on “I’ll Keep You Forever

  1. Keep on writing!!! If you help others as much as you have helped me —- Praise GOD!!!
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. It’s natural to have regrets Les…but according to my experience with Cole AND Karen….you were the best thing since sliced bread!! I remember having regrets for being such a brat (yes, I know.. hard to believe) when my Mom passed away when I was 30 years old but the fact of the matter is Mama KNEW I had “brat moments” and was crazy about me IN SPITE OF those times! The way I look at is…you did the best you could do given the circumstances at the time. I just received an e-mail from a co-worker with a quote: “Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.” Author Unknown. Your experiences are making you WISE beyond your years. Wouldn’t want to obtain wisdom the way you have though, but appreciate how you are using your wisdom to help others!

  3. Your son loved you like nothing else…. I’ve heard that from sooooo many people, Les. This was a beautiful post. And oh so true in how I wish I could block my hurtful memories and only be able to remember the happy ones. Well said.

    • well, loved you and his mama more than anything else. I didn’t mean to leave Karen out of that…. but everyone has talked about that… 🙂

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