As time passes, and days become years, our lives are filled with memories. Our pains are real, our sorrows felt. We smile at the happy times that fill our lives with laughter and joy. Then life kicks us in the stomach and the hurt is felt for years. We have memories that flood back and haunt us like a thorn newly stepped upon.

Sometimes I wonder what it’s all for…you know…the struggles, the sadness that can fill my day as the anniversary of a pivotal moment creeps up behind me, waiting to pounce. I’ll think to myself, “this year will be better, after all it’s been so long ago”…but the sharpness of that knife digs in and turns a little bit more every day as the moments click away. Healing from a tragic event is tough; we cannot wait for the time to pass by to help us get through the initial throws of our anguish, but each year that day reappears and instead of being healed we go back in time…wondering…waiting…feeling despair…feeling lonely because it is a solitary anguish only we can feel.

This year the anniversary will be filled with events that can only be described as love…love that runs so deep that surely the haunting seconds will click by unnoticed…or so I hope. As new experiences fill my day this year, other decisions plague me; other thoughts squeeze in trying to fill my mind with the “what ifs” to ponder or dread. May of us are in positions of making decisions that are not easy, and will change the course of the path we travel. Why we struggle with decisions we know could be best for us is a wonderment all it’s own. What makes us hesitate, what makes us wait? Is it being caught between two worlds…both filled with something we long for, something we dream about and desire? Or is it the fear of making a decision that changes everything and cannot be undone…no matter how hard or scary it becomes.

I’ve often wondered if I could have done anything to changed the outcome of the pain filled memory I’ve carried these past thirty years. Will thinking about it change where I am today? Of course not, but being the thinker that I am it becomes a struggle not to think about what could have been, would have been if the outcome of that day had been different. Now as my life is filled with new decisions, new struggles, I wonder why I have not figured out how to look ahead to see what my decisions will do? Why can’t God provide one glimpse into the future to help me with my choices? You would think at my age I would have figured out how to make decisions based on the trickle down affect…but no…my humanness, foolishness, selfishness or whatever is inside of me always wins out. I’ll never be able to go back and make changes, but I sure would love to go forward making better decisions.

Regardless of memories that haunt me, I am filled with sweet memories too, and those are what get me through my days. This year I hope to skim past the most painful one and let the new sweeter memories fill my soul as days roll forward and that particular anniversary taps on my shoulder and says, “I’m here.”