Saturday, November 25, 2006

Precious Memories

The church occasionally sings a song titled Precious Memories. Lazy days and idle moments often lead to gentle thoughts of our personal precious memories. This last week I was in Tulsa over the Thanksgiving holiday. While there, I decided to call an old friend whom I had not seen in about sixteen years. She and I worked together at a law firm. Our jobs required that we spend long hours in each others company and we developed a good relationship. When I heard her voice, it was as though all of those years had rolled back to the times when we had so much fun working together. I consider those days to be "precious memories."

People outside of the mood disorder "club" might think that we seldom have any good times. Some might believe that our lives are so filled with the problems of our illness, that any memory we hold would be a bad one. I am happy to report that that is not the case.

Some time ago, I was looking through our family photos, and I said to my wife, "We've had a lot of fun over the years, haven't we Honey?" She agreed. When I was depressed, life looked pretty dark. It seemed as though I would never see a good day again. Since I was fifteen, I can't remember any year that I didn't experience a period of major depression. Sometimes it lasted weeks, sometimes months and occasionally an entire year.

Teresa and I have been married almost 32 years. I was depressed every year, which was hard on her, but we still managed to have a lot of fun. We raised two wonderful sons and a sweet foster daughter. We traveled extensively through OK, TX, CA, NM, AZ, CO, AR, MO, NV, UT, WY, LA, MS, TN, GA, NC, KY, MT, ID and WA. We made our home in 8 of those states.

We visited 11 national parks, many national monuments and recreation areas. We went hiking, climbing, caving, skiing, trail-riding, touring, swimming, metal-detecting, gold-panning, biking and other things too numerous to mention. We met literally thousands of the most wonderful people in the world. Most importantly, we stayed in love and remained married.

Yes, in spite of my periods of depression, I would say that we have many precious memories. That's the point that I want to make to those of you who struggle with mood disorders. If you take the time to think about it, you will discover that you also can remember some wonderful times (days?) in your lives.

The things you do today create the memories of tomorrow. Make an effort to bless someones life.

[I'm so low I could do a ten minute free-fall off the edge of a dime."]