Not too long ago, I almost saw a pedestrian get killed. Cross-traffic was stopped at a light, or so this woman thought, and she stepped off the curb and into the crosswalk. A car ran the red light and missed her by inches.
The scene often runs through my mind in slow motion. I picture her hair getting blown by the passing car that almost ran her down. Yet, in my memory, her hair isn’t tossed by a whoosh of air. It is a gentle breeze because the picture runs so slow.
I feel much the same way about the time my son stopped breathing after one of his surgeries. I remember the frenzy and the near-constant push of medication. I remember my son screaming and then suddenly hearing nothing but the nurse yelling at him. But, all of that craziness also drags on in my mind. It’s as if remembering it at the pace at which it happened is too much for me to endure.
When I go back to the moment when my aunt told me that my cousin had died, I see her mouth move sluggishly as she said, “He’s gone”. When I recall standing next to my niece in the ICU when she took her last breaths, the blips on her monitor barely move in my mind.
I think painful memories work that way. They travel through us at a rate so as not to shock our hearts into stopping.
But, I want the good memories to slow down. I need pictures of happiness and light to linger in my head. Those images are far too fleeting.
My New Year’s resolution is to stop walking around in a perpetual state of anxiety and make my brain happy. To nurse my soul and to stop letting bad thoughts plod along slowly. I want to make the good feelings last longer than the rotten ones.
All of the negative, slow motion moments in my life are wearing me down and it’s high time I sent them packing.
Then, I’m going to invite bliss and ask it to kick up its heels and stay a while.