Church Playground Memories
After I came home from the hospital even I knew something was missing, but I didn’t know what. I just felt incomplete somehow. For a person suffering from amnesia that probably doesn’t sound unusual, but this was something that I just knew was missing, I could feel it.
But I only had the feeling when I went to the doctor’s office, or some type of testing. My clothes were laid out for me. I had my wallet, keys (although not allowed to drive), a 10 dollar bill, and a pen. Apparently I always carry a pen.
My belt was in place, all of my clothing was the way it should be. It really bothered me though. I put it down as possibly my not driving. Maybe I just wanted to be the driver since I always drove everywhere. Perhaps I just was not accustomed to being on the passenger side of the car looking around.
Then one day it hit me. There was a burning in my pocket. I noticed each time I left the house, not actually my own house, that my right pants pocket felt lighter than it should. There was a spot that didn’t feel right. Even looking down at my pocket when seated there was something odd about how it appeared.
A flash of yellow came to me. And that made me think of the word, ‘pecan’. I wasn’t able to speak yet but I quickly wrote it down and shoved it toward the driver. She looked at it.
“Do I have a pecan?”
“Yes,” she said.
I held my hands out and shrugged.
“I don’t know where it is,” she said.
I quickly scribbled down my flash.
“Yellow toy box.”
“Yes. I know what you mean, beside your chair.”
A few days later it arrived.
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a pecan before. They are oblong and pointy on the ends, but not this one. This one glows and looks like polished wood. When the light hits it there is character and grooves you don’t see in a normal pecan shell.
When I touched it for the first time again, the smoothness of the shell was comforting and familiar. I instantly held it to my ear and shook it. I could hear the rattling inside.
My eyes closed and I ran my finger tips around the shell slowly and could feel the ridges that you normally didn’t realize were there. Maybe they normally weren’t. Then I slipped it into my pocket and the weight was right. My balance was right. Just a few ounces but it was right. When I sat down, the sight was right.
My mind tingled with it with me again.
“For you, Daddy.”
“Yeah. I found it for you.”
Of course the smile crossed my face and a big hug was given. “Then it goes right here and never leaves,” I said. I slipped it into my pocket. The smile crossed his face.
A pecan as a prized possession may sound a bit odd to some, but six years earlier my little son had walked up to me with a smile from the church playground and given it to me. To him it may have been just a find that day.
The grey shell had turned into polished brown like the finest piece of furniture. But this hadn’t been done by a machine. This had been done by years of being in my hands through the day, and living inside my pocket forever being polished.
Now that I had it back I was more at ease. Every night he comes to me and asks “Do you have your thing?” “Yeah.” “Okay.” He now knows how special it is to me. He knows I remembered it. He knows I know him. He knows I don’t want to lose it.
Some prized possessions may have monetary value to them, even family heirlooms, but for me, a moment of innocence that can never be captured again . . . that’s my prized possession. The pecan is a reminder of it, but the real possession is the memory of it. That’s what I have, that memory. Memories of your children can bring you back to life. That’s what happened to me.
Maybe you have a memory. Perhaps riding along with your child in your lap in a golf cart, or smiling up at you with such love in their eyes at an ice cream parlor, or giggling when you tickle them. Those are prized possessions.
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