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  • Rebecca

I Remember

Updated: Nov 4, 2019

Me, Gaylee, Mark and Dennis

I was born an Aunt. One of the products of being the baby of a large family where the siblings are spread apart is that your older siblings have already grown and moved out of the house. This was the case with me. My oldest brother was already married with 3 kids of his own when I was born. My mom and my sister-in-law were actually pregnant at the same time two different times: when my brother Dennis was born and when I was born. By the time I was born, I had 3 nieces: Gaylee was not quite 2 years older than me and my twin nieces Tammy and Amy were a month older than me. It made for such good times at Christmas and summer visits when I would stay with them! The five of us had so much fun together when we were little. They are some of my favorite memories.

I love a good game of “remember when.” Although we live miles apart now, one of the things I love about seeing my nieces or talking on Facebook is that we always end up playing “remember when.” Anytime I see them, we laugh so much about the crazy things we did together. Like the time we were teenagers and the twins and I snuck out of the house and walked downtown to Clara’s Corner (the arcade). They lived in a tiny West Texas town and downtown was one street probably about 2 or 3 blocks away. I was visiting over the summer and we had a curfew that was earlier than Gaylee, who could already drive. Being the incredibly smart teens that we were, it never dawned on us that she might SEE US while we were walking downtown. She drove by and we took off running at break-neck speed across neighbor’s lawns back to the house. Right about the time Tammy said, “Watch out for clothes….” BAM! I hit a close line with my neck and flipped over onto my stomach in the grass. She barely got out “…lines!” before she hit the ground sitting on her foot trying not to pee her pants from laughing so hard. I thought my throat was missing but we still had to get back to the house. We snuck back in and went to bed thinking everything was fine, until the next morning when we got to the breakfast table and everyone is staring at me. Little did I know, I had a giant abrasion on my entire neck that looked like a giant hickey. I learned a whole new meaning to the verse “Be sure your sins will find you out.”

Sweet times at the state Cinderella pageant

This story is even funnier and sweeter to us now because my oldest niece Gaylee, who we were running from, is no longer with us. She passed away in her mid-20’s after complications from a double lung transplant. I will never forget my dad’s shoulders shaking as he looked over her lying in the casket and said “my first grand baby.” We had no idea he would join her just a month later. It’s so hard to believe it’s been almost 25 years since she passed because memories of her are just as vivid and new in my mind as when they happened. I can still hear her voice and see her smile and hear her wheezy laugh. She struggled so much to breathe her entire life, but she didn’t let that keep her from laughing and having fun. That is what I will always remember about her. I choose not to see her struggle to breathe. I choose to see her living in spite of the struggle.

Looking back is hard. We are taught to look forward; that looking back is bad. I mean, Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt for looking back! How do we balance playing “remember when” with that? How do we balance the joy of the memories with the pain of our current reality?

Remember the Israelites I’ve been reading about? They did it again this morning. They literally repeated a scenario they had JUST been through and complained and griped AGAIN. They got to a place in the wilderness where there was no water again and they rose up against Moses and Aaron. They had already been through a different place with no water and God made water come out of a rock for them. Why in the world did they not remember this?? They looked back, but not to remember His goodness. They looked back to complain about what they left behind and how much better it was, just like Lot’s wife looked back at all she had left. Yet, God in his infinite love and patience for them made water come out of a rock again and everyone had the nourishment they needed.

It’s ok to look back. Not to long for what has passed, but to remember what God has done for you. Thank Him for the joy and laughter. Choose to see His provision, not the desolation. Remember the times He held you when you experienced loss. Remember how He provided for you. Remember that He never left you, not even once.

Choose to live in spite of the struggle.

The smile I will always remember.

In my darkest hour, when I cannot breathe

Fear is on my chest, the weight of the world on me

Everything is crashing down, everything I had known

When I wonder if I’m all alone

I remember, I remember

You have always been faithful to me

I remember, I remember

Even when my own eyes could not see

You were there, always there

I will lift my eyes even in the pain

Above all the lies, I know You can make a way

I have seen giants fall, I have seen mountains move

I have seen waters part because of You.

I remember.

~Lauren Daigle “I Remember”

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