Sound memory

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ssshhh… can you hear it? Basketballs bouncing in the driveway. Giggles and screams and a blur of children running across the front lawn. Coos from a little one in a high chair working patiently and purposefully as she tries to bring a Cheerio from the tray to her mouth.

Listen. The phone’s ringing, the doorbell’s dinging, and the oven timer’s buzzing. The stack of mail silently begging for attention must wait because it’s time for homework to begin.

And finally, the noise moves upstairs and becomes muffled as baths are taken, teeth are brushed, and prayers are prayed. Then, a quiet voice from a gentle child (Elise) utters the words that set my world in motion all over again. “I need a current event report for tomorrow.” Even this memory makes me smile, for it brings me back to a season of my life that is quickly coming to an end.

What do your memories sound like? Don’t worry. I’m not really hearing things, and this is the first time I’ve thought about the sounds of my yesterdays. This past week, as Victoria and I searched for a childhood photo suitable for her high school yearbook, the pictures I had carefully preserved brought the past back to life. In addition to the stories captured by those prints, I began to remember what was going on beyond the boundary of the picture, the things I would have captured with a wide-angle lens and a tape recorder. This avalanche of memories included the sounds from days gone by.

As I write this, Victoria, my last child, has just celebrated her 18th birthday. I’m telling myself to just breathe in and breathe out. It’s going to be OK. The same God Who guided me through raising five children will gently usher me into the next phase of His plan for my life.

When my first child was only a few months old, I looked at her and prayed, “God, let me enjoy every stage of Monique’s life. I don’t want to rush her to sit up, crawl and walk. Neither do I want to mourn the past and wish she was still a newborn. Let me just enjoy and fully appreciate every day.”

This prayer is being prayed again. I’m determined to squeeze every moment out of my last year of having a high school student, realizing that the pictures I presently take and the stories I tuck away in my heart are the memories I’ll savor as I move toward the future.

I hope to always be able to recall the sounds of the precious past. In fact, I think my corner of Heaven will echo with these melodic memories.

Except for that whole “current event” conversation.

Ronny may be reached at