My family celebrated our Thanksgiving Saturday. My son came with his family from N.C. My younger daughter came from Clemson to spend a few days with me. Our hearts were overflowing with so much joy during our time together at my older daughter’s home.
After dinner, my son asked if I would like to take a ride with him through my old childhood neighborhood. I hadn’t been in that area in several years, and I hadn’t seen the inside of the house since my mother became sick with cancer and had surgery in 1981.
When we got to the house where I spent my entire lifetime as a little girl, it was quite a shock to see. No one lives there now, so we got out and looked around. We were even able to take a peek into the windows. The rooms that once seemed so large, suddenly appeared so small. Tears began to spill from my eyes as the secrets and heartache, as well as echoes of laughter tapped upon my shoulder. Coming back here was unsettling…much more so than I ever imagined.
As I close my eyes now, I become that lost little girl again. My heart weeps for her as I am left with a desire to recall only the sweeter times while diminishing every thought of the tainted ones. But I know I must accept all I can grasp and make the best of each precious memory. It seems I’ve forgotten so much from my past that I should be able to cherish today. For decades, thoughts that sting my very soul were stashed away somewhere, along with a huge part of my happier growing-up years that I can never reclaim…. Oh, how I would love to rediscover the enchantment of childhood I must have, at one time, held so dear to my heart!
Life has journeyed on, and much time slipped by since those days. I am making my way down this new path God planned for me. I shall continue to revisit my past, and tears will again cloud my vision while I mourn the faded, as well as those extremely hurtful, moments. Still, if I can uncover the faintest smile, once stolen from my memory, it will be worth the struggle; for no one deserves the opportunity to permanently erase my childhood hopes and dreams. One day soon, that little girl will find her song. And she will sing with it all her might!
“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.”
“And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.”
Time, Slow Down
Oh, time, where are you heading now?
You’ve way too quickly flown.
It’s seems like only yesterday
That child was barely grown.
How did those days of youth slip by?
My heart recalls so few,
Except the ones that made me cry
And broke my heart in two.
So many times, I glimpse and hope
One moment I will find
A ray of sunshine from my youth
I may have left behind:
Some thoughts of joy that brought a smile
To that child’s lonely face—
A streak of heaven for her world,
That dark and hurtful place.
I need to know I had a friend
Who understood my fears.
Who felt my pain, and knew my heart,
And brushed away my tears.
I want to think of happy times,
Forgotten long ago.
I long to find those pleasant dreams
The pain of childhood stole.
While, in my mind, I try to think
Of days my heart should love,
My soul’s at peace just knowing God
Was watching from above.
Oh, time, slow down for just a while;
Please, grant me this request:
Bring back some precious memories
When my youth had been blessed.
© 2011 Doris Hayes Gibson