|image found at: http://www.lavidarollercoaster.com/2011/01/waking-up-from-anesthesia.html|
I don't remember any of this, just vague recollections...so I'll pretend (in my own head) that it was just a dream.
Once I had been awake for a while I could remember more, but just back until I checked in at the surgical waiting room. But clearly I lost a few hours on either side of my surgery. It was completely different this time. Expecting that I wouldn't remember anything, I made videos while I was in pre-op to make sure I would remember something of the experience.
After the first surgery I thought that, in a way, it was cool that I lost those hours before surgery because all the anxiety, all the worry, all the doubt that I must have been feeling (that sour feeling in the pit of your stomach before you're about to do something you don't want to do) are forgotten. I mean, if I don't remember those feelings they can't be real to me, right? Who wants to remember the bad parts????
Well, this surgery was different because I sure do remember everything. Yup. Nearly everything! I remember the ride to the OR in my bed. I remember my wife sitting with me. I remember saying goodbye to her as we wheeled away. I remember making jokes (i'm sure they were bad/cheesy) with the Surgical Team as I was being positioned in the OR.
Had I just had the videos to remember that hour, I could control the memory and make it just as happy as I wanted it to be...but I would have missed all the moments I mentioned. Pre-op time would have been a recollection of me, the way I wanted it, but memory works differently. I don't see me in the memory, I experience my wife, doctors, nurses and staff. I experience my father-in-law, Bob, stopping by incidently to bring something to carrie. I would have missed the teary goodbye with my wife.
|image found at: http://www.familypromiseofmc.org/family-promise-snapshot-of-2011-in-review/|
I want to suggest that memories aren't just in the photos of our albums or the videos in that box in the basement. Now don't get me wrong, those are great and they trigger memory, but that's all they are. Often, too, these triggers are just the happy moments, the smiles and laughs rather than the crying and frowns. But our experiences are more than just the laughs, our experience / our being / our relationships are also in the tears.
Sometimes, especially in contemporary times and in Western culture we try to only remember the good times, but we do a disservice to ourselves, our experiences, and our loved ones when we don't honor the whole experience of life. We must strive not just to be shallow and live in a small spectrum of our relationships, experiences, and memories... we must be whole and complete.
I suggest that we can experience more of life, get more from our relationships and find greater fulfillment when we open ourselves to the laughter and tears; the smiles and the frowns; the joy and the sorrow.
May you find wholeness this week, wherever you are!