Aug 23

Memory Out of the Blue

Have you ever been going about your daily routine, happy as a clam, not a care in the world, when all of a sudden something sparks a memory and you are stopped dead in your tracks?  All of a sudden, you are taken back to a place you never intended to go.  That happened to me today.

I was serving my family their supper: grilled chicken sandwiches, brocoli & cheese, and macaroni & cheese (okay, I know it’s too much cheese, but that’s how we do it in my family….cheese it up), and lemonade.  The mac & cheese was a new recipe (thank you to LeAnn of She Cooks).  I asked the kids how they liked it.  Well, they all LOVED IT.  But it also brought up discussion about their MaMaw, my mother.  Her specialty was mac & cheese. That conversation led to another of my Mom’s specialties, Tea Cakes (sugar cookies, but much better), which led me to go get the recipe box.  Well that’s when it happened.

I took my mom’s recipe box out of the cabinet.  I began thumbing through the recipes.  A lump developed in my throat. My eyes filled with tears. The cards in the box held recipes in her handwriting, and well, that did it.  All of a sudden, I was taken back to a place I never intended to go.

My mom was diagnosed with cancer almost 2 years ago.  Sadly, she lost her battle in March, 2010.  It was the saddest season of my life.  If you’ve read any of my stuff (blog, FB, CaringBridge, or P31 devotions) in the past year , you know how hard it’s been for me.  I miss her so so much. Sometimes I still can’t believe she’s gone. When I saw her handwriting on those recipe cards, I was taken back….

there she was, writing a new recipe to try out on the next family dinner.

there she was, planning her menu based on the recipe she was viewing.

there she was, we lived in Winter Park, FL. I was in the 1st grade.

there she was, teaching me how to make macaroni & cheese.

there she was, cooking on Thanksgiving Day.

there she was.  there she was.   was.  I hate the word was.  I want it to be is.

I have many fond memories of my mother, but I have to be honest, I don’t want them to be memories.  I want them to be now.  I don’t cry as much about her dying as I used to.  I am kind of in a phase where I don’t think about it if I don’t have to.  Those stages of grief…..I’m not sure where I am.

But one thing I do know. I had a great mom.  And memories out of the blue are a blessing.



  1. Oh sweet friend, memories out of the blue are a blessing. Sending you a hug.

    This touches my heart so deeply tonight. First, I recently had an “out of the blue” memory while smelling some freshly laundered clothes. In an instant my mind returned to another place and time. It’s amazing what triggers memories…and totally unannounced.

    This also speaks deeply this evening because only hours ago a very dear friend lost her mom to cancer and another very precious friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. My heart is swirling.

    Love ya girl…so much. Thanks for always being real and sharing your heart.

  2. Lora Terry says:

    Wow this is a hard thing to come to terms with. We just buried my mother on Friday of this past week. It feels like I put a piece of myself in the ground with her. Yesterday I was sitting in the car waiting on my husband and I just began weeping and I thought that I would never stop. I miss her so much and it hurts so bad. I desperately long to feel her touch just one more time. I want to tell her how much I love her just once more. I feel so lost and empty without her here with me. It hurts so bad and it seems like nothing can comfort that hurt. Melissa, I just want her back here with me. I do not care about being selfish, I just want her back. I feel like I cannot go on without her here with me, but I know that the Lord is and continues to sustain me. Her memories are every where I turn so there is no getting away from them. If I could have anything in the world right now, it would be to talk to her just one more time. Thank you so much for the book, I just have not had the strength to start the book just yet but Im going to read it soon. God bless you, Lora

  3. Hi sweet friend. You are amazing, did you know that? Absolutely beautiful, I can only imagine what an amazing woman your mother must have been and how proud she must be of you. The stages of grief are funny, we can bounce around and around in no particular order, never knowing which one is coming next. There is no set time period or order for stages, and triggers seem to hit out of nowhere. But take comfort in the fact that you are exactly where He wants you, He has a funny way of bending and twisting us exactly to the shape He has in mind. It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to miss her. Lay that weary head in His lap and rest in His arms tonight. Let Him dry your tears. Love and Blessings always sweet sister. <3 Stephanie

  4. Melissa,
    My dad passed away in March of this year. He was such a sweetheart. I loved him so much. I was closer to him than I am my mom. It is so odd how the smallest thing can bring back such wonderful memories of them. My dad was such a godly man and had such an impact on so many others lives. Unfortunately, we don’t always realize what a gem we have been blessed with until they are gone. So many times we are too busy doing life and we take soo much for granted. I am praying for you.

  5. I recognise this!
    My mother in law passed away 14 years ago.
    She always had handwritten cards everywhere.
    Mostly in books etc.

    This month we still found one and brought back the memories.
    Although the grieve stages are done these are precious memories.

    And I have a deep wish to keep another precious one in the be instead of the was…

    Please Lord continue to comfort Melissa!

  6. Lord, Please comfort Melissa at this time we know that memories are so so good, but when we are grieving they make us feel so sad. All we need to do is go to you for our comfort and our joy. My brother passed away two years ago he was only forty nine had never been sick. He went to work one very hot summer morning. He was reading meters for an electric company he worked for. They said he started to feel really hot and sick so he sat in the alley and drank the water that he used to spray the meters , that was the only water he had at that time.When he felt better he drove himself to the cemetary that was near where he was.He went inside and asked the lady that works in the office if he could sit there till he cooled off,he laid on the floor and started to feel bad again. He asked the lady to call an ambulance. When they got there as soon as they put him in the ambulance he went into a cardiac arrest and died, there at the cemetary.After two summers i’m still in shock I can’t believe he’s gone.He was so young and full of life.I will be praying for you Melissa that GOD will wrap His arms around and give so much joy that is what i’m praying for my self. You are such an inspiration to me, because you are real. Thanks again

  7. Hey Friend. Yes, this happens to me sometimes too. Still.

    Wish I could come sit poolside with you and look through those recipies.

  8. I was touched by your message and sent to on to a couple of my friends who are recently widowed. Then an “out of the blue” happened to me just a few hours later. My son died 12 years ago and I wear a little memorial tear necklace in his memory. I went to put it on and it is gone!!! My heart sunk. I searched everywhere and I couldn’t find it. I shared this with my young 16 year old son and he had a profound reply “Mom, perhaps God is showing you that you don’t need that necklace anymore.” It gave my heart a tug in many directions. Grief moves us all along different paths. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  9. Hi Melissa
    Wow! This is special. I pray that the Lord will comfort you more and more each day. Melissa, I’d like to share with you what my adopted mother wrote in my autograph book when I was still at primary school: “A ring is round and has no end and so is my love to you my friend. Love, Mommy”. She died a long time ago when I was 12 years old and I only came to realise that this is how the Lord loves me, when I was once again adopted, into His Kingdom at the age of 47.

  10. Hi Melissa, I love you! You are a great mom, just like your mom was. I’ve been rejocing this week over dylan’s baptism!

  11. I often refer to my son, Andrew (12), in the present tense. He IS in Heaven and has been there since 12/15/09. He IS my youngest son. He IS everywhere in our house. He IS in my heart. He IS in my future, too.