My soul he doth restore again
and me to walk doth make
within the paths of righteousness
e’en for his own name’s sake.23rd Psalm v 2
Mom died some years ago. After he death there was the responsibility of looking after her affairs. I had lived in that house for the first twenty years of my life, so there were many memories, both good and bad. There was a mountain of paperwork which had been added to for several years. It all had to be gone through and sorted. The furniture had to go and the house put up for sale. There were pictures and cards which she had collected for many years. It brought back so many memories.
Some of the most poignant memories were of my late big brother. She had kept old school reports, as well as the expected school photos, university photos, papers he had written over the years. we opened one dressing table drawer to discover old school books, one from when he had been in his first year at school. There was another couple of chapters on a book dedicated to neurophysiology. It must have been written for first year students. I could actually understand it!
There were one or two one or two special items I kept for old times sake. It brought me back to old memories of my own, Peter’s stories about Copenhagen, Tivoli Gardens and his time living in Denmark. He had brought us back prints of “The Mermaid” add the city. They adorned the walls of our house until the time after so many years that the pictures had faded to such an extent there was little we could do with them and they were sadly relegated to the “throw” pile.
I wouldn’t describe myself as a “things” girl. I rely more on memories and images in my head of the thins which matter to me. They are good enough – or they will be until the memory fades. But in spite of that, there are many people who find comfort in items which link them to the past.
Part of our teatime viewing recently has been a TV programme called “The repair Shop”. Fond memories are attached to some items. They are brought to the repair shop for a restoration job. They are recovered from attics, left by relatives. Their owners bring them in for what is described as a sympathetic restoration – old soft toys, bikes, cars, furniture, clocks and machines. They are taken in by the artisans who use their expertise to clean, repair and to recover some of their old use. The clients tell a little of their stories, some poignant, many full of happy memories of a bygone time. They are a gentle reminder of long past memories. I described them as sympathetic restorations, keeping the scratches and the essence of their old life, past damage incorporated and preserved as part of their charm.
This story relates to the good old Psalm 23. “My soul he doth restore” The Lord my Shepherd who seeks out the lost. He takes us as we are imperfect and scarred. He makes us as new. Cleaned and restored, but still scarred and damaged, offering our imperfect love and asking for the strength to travel on life’s journey. Restoration. But we remain with the memories of who we were, as well as the knowledge of who we are now, and the road we have traveled to get here. We too need to accept our imperfections. Those life scars are a part of our charm. Then we will be given the strength in order to continue in the knowledge that like those retored items we too are loved and have our part to play.