Precious Memories - A Migraine Patient's 30 Days of Gratitude
As Migraine patients, we often have so much taken from us by our disease, that we spend a lot of time thinking about the past and wishing we could relive parts of it we especially enjoyed. Remembering great times is good for us, but obsessing over them is usually counterproductive.
Yesterday, I was heartbroken when I learned that the big beautiful brick church in which my husband and I were married, was torn down to make way for a more modern building.
During a visit to a far-away town, we couldn't find the church my family had attended for generations. The town had changed so much in the 24 years since we were last there that we thought we must have missed it. Finding photos of it on their website was a futile search. We were confused when the address we googled came up with a very modern round, single story, grey stone building instead of the tall, red brick majestic building with its staired entry and towering bell tower.
Where were the beautiful stained glass windows that showered golden sunlight upon us as we said our vows? Where was the beautiful stairway we walked down as we said good-bye to friends and family when we started our life together?
I'm a terribly sentimental person, and when I replaced my broken wedding ring this summer, I had even chosen a yellow diamond that reminded me of those beautiful windows that surrounded us the day our lives changed forever. They had even inspired me to become a stained glass artist, which became my passion and vocation for more than a decade. Now it appeared, they were gone.
"You can never go back," I have heard and experienced before. But some things I expected would outlast me by decades or even centuries. One of those things was "our" church. My relatives had attended church there for decades. I went there to bury both my grandparents. We had travelled 2,000 miles to be married there. We felt that, in a small way, it was ours too, even though it really wasn't.
Hubs called the church to get the story and solve the mystery. He knew I wanted to know, but didn't really have the strength to call them to ask.
They needed to make the church more handicapped accessible, they said.
They wanted a more modern design, they said.
They hired an excellent design team, they said.
Our church was gone because those who rightfully called it theirs wanted a change.
I wanted to cry.
Then my Hubs said the magic words he knew I wanted to hear...
"But they saved all the windows."
As we drove around the church, we didn't see any stained glass, but apparently we had somehow missed them. In fact, the entire church had been designed around the beautiful windows, he was told, and they were safe.
I'll probably never have the opportunity to attend a service there, as the ceiling of the sanctuary is glass and I am too sensitive to the sun to be in the light for more than a few moments at a time. But I still smile, knowing the special windows that meant so much to my family, are still a part of the lives of those who still called the church home.
Today, day #10 in our 30 Days of Gratitude, I am thankful for the wonderful memories I have to recall on the days when I can't make new memories. Most Migraine patients have lived marvelous lives and have crazy and miraculous stories to tell. It's such a shame when we forget about how beautiful and wonderful our lives are, just because we have been sidelined for part of them. I'm going to work harder to replay the amazing memories I have, remembering who I really am on the inside despite the challenges I have this day.
Gratitude journals help us remember where we were, and how far we've come. They help us recall our blessings and the reasons we have for continuing this life despite our struggles. Would you like to join us? It's easy to keep a gratitude journal, and you're always welcome to share any of it here in our community. Journals can be handwritten or kept on your computer. To share here, you can create a SharePost of your own, or you can post comments to our posts.
For a listing of all of our 30 Days of Gratitude posts, see A Migraine Patient's 30 Days of Gratitude - Introduction.
Live your best life,
© Ellen Schnakenberg, 2013.
Last updated November 11, 2013.