Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Power of Memories and Associations

The last time I saw this view, Leif was with us. It was twenty-two years ago and he was thirteen years old. This photo of him was taken on that trip. As Peter and I were walking in the Heidelberg Castle gardens this afternoon, I couldn't help but remember that he had been with us on that trip, and it suddenly made me inexpressibly sad. I cried, and I said to Peter that little did we know at that time we would only have him for twenty more years.

A few days ago, we saw a fancy Audi sports car that we immediately both said Leif would have loved, and today Peter spotted an unusual vehicle, a BMW motorcycle that had a cab around the driver. I had to take a picture of it, because I knew Leif would have been interested in it, though of course he is not here for me to show it to.

Just days before that, we had a rip-roaring thunderstorm, innumerable flashes of lightning and plenty of thunder accompanied by a downpour that knocked an amazing quantity of debris off our live oak trees, and Peter said how much Leif would have loved it, how he liked to watch the lightning, and we remembered how he went out onto the porch of our old stone house in Kansas to watch such storms.

Everywhere we go, everything we do, is covered with a layer of memories of Leif. Sometimes many layers. I want to remember him, but often the way memories surface or pop up unexpectedly surprises me. It sneaks up on me.

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