Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Gift of a Memory

I think I've mentioned here a time or twenty that I have a really bad memory.  It is one of the reasons that I started this blog.

Don't worry, I haven't been diagnosed with anything.  It is just that with five children and now six grandchildren, sometimes events run together for me.  So I record them here so that I can refresh my memory from time to time.

BUT...there is one memory indelibly lodged in my mind.

It was the summer of 1978...June to be exact.

My mom worked at Boyd & Nichol's General Store in Fountain Hill, Arkansas.  She was a butcher there at the time.  (This was before she started nursing school.)

Boyd & Nichols was a true general store.  About half of it was groceries, but the other half had anything you could, overalls, tools, implements, farm supplies.  ANYTHING!

During this one week in June of 1978, I was offered the temporary job of sacking groceries.  You see, the regular 'sacker' was out of town for the week attending FFA camp.  (Future Farmers of America...though I believe he works for the Ashley County Sheriff's Department today, not on a farm.  But I digress.)

So, this was my first paying job.  A one-week stint at sacking groceries at a general store.  I was quite excited by the prospect of earning my own money...and even more excited that it was a one week only job because, really, who wants their entire summer interrupted by work?  (Oh, the irony of wasted youth.)

I really can't tell you much about that whole week.  I don't know how many sacks I filled and carried out or how much time I spent stocking shelves.

BUT...right around lunch time on my last day (Saturday) I had an experience that I have never forgotten.

I had sacked groceries for a woman and was carrying them to her car just out front of the store.  As I approached the car I noticed two boys with her.  I'm sure they were not with her in the store...but they seemed to have miraculously appeared as we walked toward the car.

One of them was a few years younger then me, very talkative and friendly.  The other one looked near my age and was quite handsome.  The older brother opened the back door of the car for me as I moved the groceries from the shopping cart to the backseat.  I remember giving him a hard time about letting me, a girl, do the heavy lifting of a very large bag of dog food.  And then, he closed the door, walked around the car, climbed into the driver's seat and was gone.

I'm sure it was a scene that had played out several times with many different people throughout that week's worth of work.  But for some reason I never forgot his face, the way he spoke or his reserved friendliness.

Fast forward just short of two years when I met him again and learned his name.  Jim.  Jim Goode.  Yeah, the one I have been married to for almost 33 years now.  (Our anniversary is next month.)

I've always wondered why THAT memory remained so vivid to me for all that time.  (Admit it, two years is a long time when you are a young girl.)  And why it still remains so rich today.

But earlier this week I was reading Melanie Shankle's book "The Antelope in the Living Room" and I came across this quote which just really says it all for me.

"It's shocking the things I don't remember from college, but I remember every minute of that first meeting. I remember what he said and what he prayed, and looking back, I think it was God's gift to me because he knew this man was going to be my husband and there were things I'd want to remember."

Melanie Shankle AKA Big Mama
"The Antelope in the Living Room"

That crystal clear memory from 1978 was a gift from God for me...because He knew I would want to remember it.  He knew it would be a treasure for my heart.

Oh, and the reason I bought the book?  (Aside from the fact that I have loved her blog for years.)  Did you see that kudu mount on the cover?  Yeah, I have a similar one hanging in my living room right now.  Only ours has a blue wildebeest right across the room to match.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jim was testing you. He wanted to make sure your were strong enough to handle 5 kids, 7-8 grandkids and counting, dogs, cows, etc.

Congratulations, you passed!!!!