Single Parent Faith

Friday, November 25, 2011

In this Moment— Creating Memories

“These are the moments I thank God that I'm alive
These are the moments I'll remember all my life
I've got all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more

I could not ask for more than this time together
I could not ask for more than this time with you
Every prayer has been answered
Every dream I have's come true
And right here in this moment is right where I'm meant to be
Here with you here with me…”
—Sung by Edwin McCain, Lyrics by Diane Warren

Thanksgiving is a time for considering all that we have, and all that we are  grateful for. All our Blessings, all the beautiful things that have entered our lives, all the wonderful treasures we find in the people that we have in our lives, and the people yet to arrive.  I take pause to stop and thank God for all the beautiful memories I have been able to capture and experience in my life.

Then it occurs to me, I must also give thanks for the challenges and tearful  experiences, for they too have shaped me and accompanied me on my path, nudging me to grow as a result. Okay, maybe not always nudging, sometimes kicking me and launching me as if by cannon. These are the moments we are face to face with God’s invitation to grow. Because it is the only way to move beyond the current rut, or the painful moment.

I think as human beings we tend to settle into a “comfortable” zone very easily. It is the path to apathy and a mediocre existence. Whereas, God has bigger and better plans for us all.  He doesn’t want us content with staying small.

I am reminded this Thanksgiving of a lost love. I suppose he never really was lost, as much as he chose to physically disappear. I will never fully understand his anguish that led him that fateful night in late September to take his life. Today, though he no longer physically exists, his memory lingers as will always his loving energy. How many people can we say that about?

I wish to live life giving away my love, so that when I too disappear as a mist returning to the heavens, I may have planted enough love to make a difference, even if for just one millisecond in God’s expanse of time.

This man was the epitome of a man living with great intention. He knew that to truly know a person, one must first understand their dreams. Without a judgmental strand in him, he set about to learn about people’s dreams and see what he could do to begin them on their journey toward accomplishing them.

This was a man you could not pry yourself away from. Talks were endless and still there were bottomless subjects yet to be explored. This is the way of a kindred soul. The connection is beyond physical understanding. It is from a spiritual place, it touches you deep and cannot be fathomed unless you too have ever experienced this with another.

I remember during one of our countless talks, I volunteered having a list of, “Things to do before I turn 30.” I had already passed that milestone, yet he was very intrigued and asked me to share my list with him.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, he made a copy of it, and in the weeks that followed I noticed a most bizarre stream of requests on his part.

After a short while I began to piece things together and realized with great heartfelt joy, that this incredible man had begun to work the items off my list. One by one exposing me to the circumstances to bring the experiences into existence. One by one, my heart filled with such joy and gratitude, that this man would take it upon himself to simply gift to me these memories. Patrick understood the power of dreams.

Patrick understood the power of intention.

What is intention? It’s not sitting on the sidelines of life, allowing life to happen “to you,” but rather, you taking the initiative to create things into set life into motion…to be the creator of memories.

Being a city girl, I had “Climb a tree” on my list. One day he asked me to accompany him for a walk in the park. That was easy, as I always enjoyed our long conversations. As we talked, he bounced off a particular tree and began climbing up a few branches. With the enthusiasm of a child, he shouted “Come up here with me, it’s breath-taking!” He knew I was afraid of heights, and with the patience and understanding that was his trade-mark, he climbed down several branches to get closer, and reached his hand out to me, “Here, take my hand, I’ll guide you.”

With such assuredness as that, I knew I’d be safe. I trusted him. How could you not trust someone who put your needs and happiness ahead of his own?
Perched high above other trees, we could see the lake in the distance, on this cool, clear fall day. I could have stayed there forever with him. And it would not have been long enough. We talked and laughed, and hung there feeling the wind rush through our hair, past our ears. Fully immersed in the moment of being there atop a tree. 

How do you savor a moment? You pay attention to it. You are awake to it. You intentionally make yourself present to the exact moment, taking note of the details in the moment, the sky, the clouds, the temperature, the wind, the sunny day, the sounds. You look at the person sharing this moment with you and you take him in as part of the memory. You savor his smile, his eyes glistening, ecstatic for the joy he’s gifted. Now some 14 years later, this memory still makes me smile. It is a memory to be savored for a lifetime.

How many more memories did he give me? Countless.

It is after all how we should live our lives. Intent to make memories. Intent to savor them, in the moment of them. Paying attention and being present to the moment with the person you care for. It is the only way to live one's life. Anything less is just existing, surviving, sucking up oxygen, but no more.

What are you doing to make your moments count? Are you intentional with your time with the special people in your life? Insignificant chatter withers and never lives on as a memory.

Life is too short. We do not know how long we have with the special people in our lives.  When they are gone, all you have that remains of them, are the memories. You get to choose whether you want to create beautiful heart-warming memories. If you choose to, you must be intentional, and not just wait for them to happen on their own. Initiation is required if you wish to live a life thriving, and pulsating with love. 

I pray that you will all set forth and create memories. There is no greater Blessing.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ella Venezia

Image Source:   ©All rights reserved by Cherry + Mika


  1. Ella, this story is beautiful in so many facets and wonderfully told. I do not underestimate the depth of pain which you only touch briefly (as I know my own).

    While you will always have that bittersweet home with Patrick in your heart, I pray that God presents abundantly new life for the future as well. Grace and Peace.

  2. Athanasius- I appreciate your words, and beautiful wish for "abundant new life."

    You're right, I did only touch briefly here on so much more that could be told. I will write more of this in the future. In fact I have begun a book on this subject because there is so much to share about my time with him and the experience of loving someone who is intent on his own demise, when everything else about him reveals a man who appreciates fully the beauty in life. It's a paradox. That one must be dying to know how to truly live.....

    God Bless you and your family this Thanksgiving and season of giving thanks.

  3. How sad that he was a man who could love others in such an intimate way, but not love himself enough to live. Yes, I'd like to know more too!

    I too want to live an intentional life. How important!
    Take care,

  4. Even though there is deep sadness in what you wrote about here, you have found a way to celebrate the good and remember the great things about him that made you love him. I'm glad that you have all of the good memories to carry with you.

    I hope that your holidays were full of love and happiness.

    Happy New Year!

  5. Angela, Good point. Let's always celebrate the good, even in moments haunted by sadness.Thank you for your wonderful New Year wishes! I wish you as well a beautiful New Year with abundant Blessings!


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