I want to remember her running around the field, blue eyes sparkling, a big, wide grin, screaming “ahhhh.” I want to remember that this is the picture of pure joy.
I want to remember the three of us snuggled under the covers on a Friday morning.
I want to remember the terrible way I felt, and the way he didn’t hesitate to help, the way he never gets grossed out, the way he never turns away.
I want to remember our laughter as three generations of women read sweet books at bedtime.
I want to remember how the air smelled of summer; how her pace was always brisk and excited, her enthusiasm literally extending from head to toe; how we’d play dolls for hours; how she was the only person who could listen to my violin playing, and even praised it; how we’d sit in her tiny, sunny kitchen, snacking on juicy cherries and super sweet watermelon, which she’d always have on hand, knowing they’re my favorites.
I want to remember how much she loved life.
I want to remember the pancakes he made from scratch for her, which looked like a turkey.
I want to remember the shape of his eyes, and their precise shades of blue.
I want to remember the music in the mornings, and her feet kicking the highchair to the beat.
I want to remember how he’d walk into the house after work always with a smile on his face, no matter how crappy, exhausting, or demeaning the day was.
I want to remember his appreciation for the small and significant things in life: good food, soccer, his family.
I want to remember his endless patience, and how he was never unkind or unreasonable or angry. How is that possible?
I want to remember running through a field of daisies in a small village on the outskirts of Moscow in the summer of 2001. I want to remember plucking out a few daisies to make crowns later that evening. I want to remember the feeling of freedom, peace, and calm.
“I want to remember” is a beautiful prompt from Liz Lamoreux’s beautiful piece about seven journaling prompts to tell our stories. Instead of hyper-focusing on to-do lists and tasks and chores and other responsibilities, leave room to think about what you’d like to remember about today. Maybe you even make it a nightly or weekly routine to respond to this prompt in your notebook. Maybe you make it a dinner ritual where everyone goes around the table and shares their thoughts.
This prompt also is a powerful way to honor loved ones we’ve lost. Maybe every few months or on your loved one’s birthday, you reflect on the big and small things you don’t want to forget. Plus, you can use any medium to express this prompt: painting, poetry, collage, dancing, photography.
What do you want to remember about today, or last month, or 10 years ago? What do you want to remember about how she looked or what he said or didn’t say? What do you want to remember about the sky or your surroundings? What do you want to remember about that celebration or that holiday? What memories would you choose to wear like a tattoo?
Write them down. Sit with your words. Let them wash over you. Let them sink in. Savor them. There is so much beauty here. Make sure you regularly take the time to see it, and to feel it.