This most amazing memory

Part 4 of 5.

Thank you, Lord, for this most amazing day.

This most amazing day does not begin with a trumpet fanfare proclaiming itself to the universe, unless you count a slow, steady emerging light defeating darkness as a fanfare — although you have to admit, wiping darkness off the landscape is a pretty good trick. An hour ago you couldn’t see a darn thing without a flashlight of some kind, and even then shadows were everywhere, and now this most amazing day is here.

Still, by all signs this day is identical to any other day and every other day, except for the ingredients we pour into it.

Those magical supernatural ingredients — the choices we make, the people we encounter, the unexpected delights, the unexpected disappointments, the expected quotidian, the bullets dodged, the hits taken — all of them are stirred into a stew that is at once sweet and bitter, spicy and bland, epic and ordinary, and the finished chowder is assigned a date and filed into a big bin labeled “another day” or “one in a million I’ll always remember.”

What does it take to tip the scales for memorable? I dare say it involves starting the day with the intention to tip those scales. I am not so naive as to believe that saying, “Thank you, Lord, for this most amazing day” will make all the difference, but I am optimistic enough to believe it will make a difference.

How much difference depends on all sorts of factors. Now, all sorts of cliches are shouting for my attention as I try to make this point. Probably the predominant one is, “You can’t always control what happens, but you can control your reaction.”

I used to say “goddamit” a lot, and from time to time (heavens to Murgatroyd) I still do. Once upon a time, I vowed to say the less explosive “God bless America” instead. (Now, don’t get all political on me, just roll with the thought that “God bless America” is a gentler oath than “goddamit.”) I had to train myself out of the more vulgar habit, and I still often pause after shouting “God —” allowing a split-second to remind myself to call for a blessing rather than a damnation.

In the same way it takes some self=training to pause and remember what a most amazing day this is — one of a kind, never to be repeated exactly the same way. And isn’t it a blessing that the most awful thing won’t happen again? And isn’t it a blessing to remember to savor the most wonderful thing that won’t happen again quite like it did today?

Remember, and remember. That’s what a memory is, after all.

P.S. Who is Murgatroyd anyway?

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