Standing on my Soap Box

Looking Back

  • Sheila Rempel, Author
  • Writer, Southeastern Manitoba

My heart sometimes feels like it’s breaking. This has been a very long two years, however I have come to realize that sometimes things happen in our lives not to break us, but to teach us, so that we may come along side others who are now dealing with the things we have dealt with in the past.

One of the first things I want to talk about is memories. I have boxes and plastic containers full of my parents’ household goods, mementoes, and knickknacks etc. I have been going through those boxes one by one and deciding what to do with each item. The memories that come up with each item I touch can be painful. Last year I started working on those boxes the Friday before Mother’s Day and let me tell you Mother’s Day was difficult. I cried in the morning when I woke up, I cried at noon as we stood at our favorite family hotdog restaurant, I cried silently as I helped my granddaughter clean up her ice cream cone because that’s exactly what my mom used to do.

So here is some of the advice that I gave a new friend last year when she is moving out of an apartment, she shared with someone into an apartment by herself. I reminded her that the memories are not in the rooms (or in my case the knickknacks), but they are in our hearts. The memories we have don’t stay in the building when we leave it, nor when we get rid of stuff, the memories stay in our hearts. I have chosen to take pictures of the important things rather than keep them as pictures take up far less space.

When I think over the past five years, there has been some major changes and shifts in my life. Five years ago, I was married and had two children living with and being dependent on us. Now we are divorced from each other and one of us is married while I have entered the dating scene and having only one person living in the same house as me however no longer dependent. I moved my parents in with us and sharing my home with them to both passing away within 5 weeks of each other.

Most of the “trauma” has subsided. Some days the emotions are more raw and more real than other days, and sometimes they choose to fall over the banks of my eyelids and down my cheeks. There are some days when it feels like my heart is breaking in a million pieces and I cry and if I’m alone I scream.

For the past few months, I have heard the words “remember Lot’s wife”. As I think about all that I’ve mentioned above (and in previous blog posts). It is so easy to look back and remember. Sometimes we remember the good times and wish them back (NO – I do not want my parents back on earth – they are with the Heavenly Father. Their bodies are whole, and I am not selfish enough to wish them back in the pain they were in). We remember when we felt whole and happy.

Sometimes however we remember the bad things that were said/implied or decisions that we made that we now regret. (I should have made changes earlier, etc.), and we internalize them. Sometimes we hold onto the old/bad so tight that we cannot move on because we don’ feel like we deserve to, or we don’t forgive ourselves for the things that we have done. Well, I am here to tell you – “Remember Lot’s wife‚Ķ”- she looked back, and it didn’t turn out great for her (anyone need a pillar of salt?). The rearview mirror in my car is much smaller than the front window because I am not going back, I am moving forward.

Jeremiah 29:11 states that “I know the thoughts and plans I have for you. Plans for peace and well being. Not for disaster, but to give you a future and a hope”. Sometimes it takes a while for the good to come and trust me I know that waiting is difficult – especially if you are under spiritual attack. But I have hope in the one who tells me 365 times to “fear not”.