Wiped Out By The Flood

It’s funny sometimes how our minds work. The slightest thing brought to our physical senses can trigger a memory locked deep in our memories from days gone by.

A certain scent wafting in the air can trigger memories of Sunday afternoon dinner at your grandmother’s. A sound of a car door slamming can bring up memories of the old truck your dad had when you were five.

My wife and I have been married 19 years this year. When we were married 19 years ago I was laid off from my aircraft job in Texas and we immediately moved to Kansas where I started a new job. The struggle of new marriage/ new job/ new state/ new friends, etc., took it’s toll early and set deep wounds in both of us.

One of the things new couples do is have little things they do that tangibly express their love for each other, such as pet names, notes in lunch boxes or whatever. Many times these things carry on for a lifetime, sometimes without ever remembering where they began.

One thing my wife and I did as we would lay in the bed immediately before we went to sleep was squeeze each other’s hands “in code”. One of us would squeeze three times meaning “I love you” then the other of us would return the squeeze four times meaning “I love you too”.

Over the years, although we haven’t totally abandoned the behavior, we will go years without squeezing each others hands in code. This morning in church my wife squeezed first.

It had been so long I had forgotten about the squeezing thing.

It brought back a flood of memories that although good, they hurt a little also.

When she squeezed my hand this morning, I was immediately taken back to the time when we laid there in that hot little house in Wichita, Kansas and developed “the squeeze”. Long before kids, mortgages, deaths of people, and deaths of dreams. Long before so many hurts and regrets had gotten their roots so deep into the recesses of my memories.

It brought back a simpler time when we were still full of love and hopes for each other. The memory came flooding in unexpectedly and with some force. It felt good. Real good. And although it carried with it a little pain, the good part of the memory, with us laying in the dark of our very own first place together and new life together, squeezing each other’s hands in love, overwhelmed the bad parts like a flood and left no trace of pain even if only for a moment.


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