Dr. Val Farmer
Rural Mental Health & Family Relationships

Looking Back On Life's Special Moments

March 22, 2010

Being alive is a marvelous thing. Some of my treasured memories come from looking around and seeing what is in front of me. Some memories have been created by hard work, commitment and love. Some memories are bittersweet and are framed through the lens of struggle, hurt, disappointment, and loss. Such memories are reserved for another day and deserve explanation in their meaning, learning and significance.

As I reflect on some of my favorite memories, I recall with pleasure:

Family life. Feeling the overwhelming love and sacrifice of family members who gave freely of themselves. Remembering a saintly mother and remarkable brothers and sisters, who have cared deeply and consistently.

Courtship. Feeling the anxiety and excitement of a first date. Enjoying those moments of electric flirtation as the mysteries of sexual attraction work their wonders. Falling in love for the first time - feeling that love and admiration coming back to you. Sharing moments of deep communication as souls unite with common understanding and purpose.

Marriage. Looking into the eyes of a glowing and beautiful bride across a matrimonial altar. Feeling an embrace of love. Having pillow talk conversations that last hours. Sharing special moments with her and then sharing the memory. Marveling and admiring my wife’s character and personality - to benefit from her honesty and love. Sharing tears of joy and tears of grief. Fulfilling dreams together.

Children and family life. Watching the miracle of birth seven times. Seeing the spiritual tears of joy as my wife was handed the newborn to hold and cherish. Lying next to a newborn infant and observing the perfection of God's creation - so delicate, so peaceful, so full of life.

Watching the dancing brown eyes of a mischievous and immensely curious toddler whose innocence and havoc knew no bounds. Seeing delight on the face of loved ones. Being pleased by my children in moments of triumph as they display their hard won talents. Being there for them when they needed me to be there. Watching my children fall in love and marry, united with fine spouses who love and cherish them.

Grandchildren. Taking delight in grandchildren - now 20 and counting. Buildings bonds of affection with them. Being surrounded by family for special celebrations. Having a warm and affectionate relationship with them. Knowing that our children are happy and doing well. Observing them being loving and devoted parents.

Nature at its best. Appreciating the vision of a country row of trees shimmering with hoarfrost. Seeing a transformation of beginning light to a glorious sunrise with its golden hues. Watching a sunset unfold, linger and cast its magenta and pink splendors across the sky. Gazing up at a star-filled sky and contemplating the vastness of the universe. Seeing ocean and shore meet with waves relentlessly crashing and receding.

Enjoying the view from a mountain peak after a long and hard climb. Experiencing nature - a raging

blizzard, a sky filled with thunder and lightening, a fierce wind that wants to take me along with it.

Listening to the roar and feeling the spray of a thundering waterfall. Snorkeling in the aquamarine waters of a tropical beach and watching the vivid colors of fish that defy description. Being above the clouds for the first time in an airplane.

Small pleasures. Experiencing the blind and utter devotion of a dog. Enjoying the playful acrobatics of a kitten. Savoring the first few bites of Chinese cooking - any cooking for that matter. Watching a tense football game and having my favorite team be victorious. Laughing in unison.

Staying up late into the night with a good book that I couldn’t put down. Watching a play with theatrical perfection offering surprises at every turn. Being engrossed in a movie, concert or play that transports you to another time and place and into the emotions of people that have captured your heart.

Work. Having strangers trust me, seek me out and allowing me to help them in their personal challenges. Taking pleasure in a job well done. Having enough money to pay the bills and enough left over to feel secure. Combining efforts with others to create something great and noble.

Seeing a first article or first book in print. Being flooded with creative thoughts and ideas as insights and expressions burst into consciousness. Being content knowing that something is well done and complete - an accomplishment that will endure. Hearing from people that my work is appreciated and has made a difference in their lives.

Other people. Feeling the camaraderie of a high school football team’s locker room with the thrill of an upset victory. Seeing old and dear friends after a long separation. Feeling the joy of helping someone in an hour of need. Having a goodbye conversation with a friend of the heart whose days of living were numbered. Being touched by other’s sorrow and pain.

Traveling and experiencing the beauty of other places and cultures. Meeting new people and making new friends.

Spiritual growth. Feeling the hand of God lift me beyond my human capacity and to know His presence, love and blessing. Having my spiritual understandings enlarged through prayer, scripture and inspired men and women of God. Coming to understand my purpose and destiny on earth and doing the work and service I need to do.

Experiencing the contentment of years and the flood of memories that come with a life lived energetically and purposely.

What are your memories?