memory lane isn’t always pretty

The time I was small, living in Allentown, going out to play with the neighbor kid, walking up town to move through streets and allies and secret pathways behind houses, to climb to the top of the parking garage at Hess’s.

How old was I then? Ten? Twelve? I can’t remember. How long were we on our adventure? Hours? Mom said to go play. Didn’t she? When we came home, the front door of my house was locked. I rang the doorbell. Over and over. She didn’t come. She wasn’t there. Not home. Where was she? I sat on the front steps waiting. How long? Was she ever coming home? Was this the last time she would leave? Was this the final exit?

I’m sure I cried. I’m sure I cried until she returned. When she finally did come home I cried, “Where were you?” “I went to Nanny’s. I called for you, but you didn’t answer. And I got tired of waiting for you. Maybe next time you’ll tell me where you’re going.”

Are these memories even accurate? They’re 40+ years old. Can anything that old even be true anymore?

The real frustration now is these memories are 65+ years old for her. When I try to talk to her about this stuff she just says she doesn’t remember any of it. How convenient for her to have forgotten.

What am I looking for? Hoping for? Oh boy. A simple “I’m sorry. I know I could have done better. I did the best I could.” But it’s the same every time. Laughter. Brushing off. Changing the subject.

So I laugh too. What else can I do? I can’t make her change. I can’t make her into the mom I wish I would have had. She’s the only mom I have. We get along because I know how to handle her.

But getting along and handling are so much less than what I always craved. Unconditional love.

How did I get here? Why is it hurting me so much now? It didn’t matter for so long. Why now?

That is the $64,000 question.

His… Michelle

Linking with Kelli.


10 thoughts on “memory lane isn’t always pretty

  1. Oh friend… You linked up after me at Kelli’s this morning so I thought I’d pop over… You write beautifully and your story here is gut-wrenching. And I’m so sorry it’s hurting so much these days. I think healing comes in stages and the pain intensifies for a while when another layer is pulled back, when the Surgeon whispers, “will you let me go a little deeper now, beloved?” So, so much grace and peace to you sister, as He moves tenderly in your depths.

  2. Sometimes things long-buried in our hearts seem to arise as we get older. I think as we face the fact that we’re getting older, we start thinking about the past. And once the door to old memories gets cracked open, sometimes stuff comes flooding out.

    May the Lord hold your hand as you explore the painful past, and may you always know that He is there with you – yesterday, today, and tomorrow.


  3. You are asking yourself some very powerful questions, and I applaud your willingness to explore something so painful. I suspect you may find that the answers you discover will not just be about your relationship with your Mom, but something happening now that has triggered these feelings of doubt and insecurity and unloveability. So I pray this season of seeking will be a refiner’s fire to smelt away all that holds you back from knowing that you know to the bottom of your toes, how very, very much you are loved and that this memory, above all others, will stand in the forefront of your mind. Thank you for being so open with your pain. Your broken places are where lasting beauty is born. Thank you for linking at Unforced Rhythms.

  4. This is beautifully told…and my heart aches. It aches for a girl who felt abandoned and for a woman who wants healing. May the girl in you know His ever ready-reaching arms. May the woman in you know healing and whole ness.

  5. My mom doesn’t remember the uncomfortable things, either. We had to be resilient – and have you noticed that silent is in resilient? I think it hurts sometimes because we are broken, micey – we are broken. Our parents can’t fix it. Our friends and kids can’t fix it. Only He can fill in the cracks and chips caused by not only others but ourselves, too. Nothing makes me cry more than Butterfly Kisses – because I was designed to receive that kind of father love – but I never experienced that – but my soul cries out for it – and it can only be filled by God’s father love for me – and I can reach for it, believe in it – but I’m still human. I’m still on earth – and sometimes the shield of faith falls – and I feel those arrows pierce. You and I – we both want justice, truth and happy endings right now – me because then the hurt stops. All I know is that we weren’t made for here – and I think that’s why it hurts!

    • Oh yes. The shield of faith falls. The arrows pierce and they hurt. But I have hope now unlike before. I know my Redeemer lives and I will see him in the land of the living and he will throw his arms around me and give me the best hug ever. And I will receive it.

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