I took a break from reading and pressed my head against the glass taking in the views along the country roads. I longed to be at home taking a nice Sunday afternoon nap, but my ten-year old wanted to go back to the place where “you can eat a big banana split and jump the bump in the road.” As we were getting ready to leave the church parking lot, he grinned as he said, “Mom, it’s the last day of spring break and you promised!”
So, instead of heading home for a nap, we were on our way to Milton, NC to eat a banana split with 9 scoops of ice cream for lunch.
When we arrived an hour later, we didn’t stop because we had the green light and the big bump in the road was straight ahead. We hit the bump and as our stomachs did flips, the kids yelled, “Again! Again!”
As we made the u-turn to do it again, my stomach did an extra flip as I remembered yelling, “Again! Again!” when I was a little girl on Sunday visits to Great Granny’s house. Hitting that bump in the road was the highlight of our drive and it let us know we were only minutes away from enjoying her homemade coconut cake.
I held my child’s hand and we carefully crossed the street. As we waited for our food, I looked up and saw a line of glass soda bottles on a shelf. I pointed and said, “Do you see that green bottle? That was my favorite! There is nothing in this world like an ice-cold Mountain Dew in a glass bottle.”
I could taste it.
My youngest turned to me and asked, “Mom, if you could have anything back from your childhood what would you have?”
The question startled me, and the first thing that came to my mind rolled off of my tongue. “My childhood.”
He didn’t skip a beat and said, “No, Mom. I mean, if you could have a toy or anything back from your childhood what would you want? What else besides Mountain Dew in a glass bottle?”
I started to tell him about my strawberry shortcake doll and how her hair smelled like strawberries but then our huge banana split arrived, with plenty of spoons to share.
As we were leaving, we decided to look around the antique store next door. I lingered by the music boxes and I kept going back to one particular box. I picked it up and gently turned the bottom and started humming along to “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.”
I remembered it.
I sat it back down on the shelf and as I was leaving the manager said, “If you want one of those music boxes, I will give you a great deal.”
I had to get it!
I handed her $9 as she wrapped it for me. Once we were back in the car, I snapped a photo and sent it to my aunt, and asked, “Do you remember?”
She replied, “I don’t remember at all.”
I remembered it.
I continued to slowly turn the bottom and hum along on the way home. A few minutes later, I texted the picture to my mom. She replied, “Aww…… yours? You had that!!!”
I remembered and it did look just like the music box I had when I was a little girl.
I smiled, and a happy tear slid down my cheek as I gazed out the window giving thanks.
The Music Box felt like a hand-delivered gift from heaven. I don’t have any toys from my childhood, so it was special to bring it home especially for the little girl in me.
It also made me realize once again that my memories are real and God is faithful. At the beginning of my healing journey, the painful memories were so strong and I desperately wanted to believe they were not true. God was with me and He gave me the courage to face the memories and process them, one by one. The memories are still there, but they no longer have power over me like they had before.
I was so thankful to spend an afternoon making beautiful new memories with my family. It was also a blessing to recall good memories and fun moments from my own childhood.
Out of everything in that antique store, I don’t think it is a coincidence that I left with the music box. It was a gift to remind me that He is with me. God was with me then, and He is with me now as I remember. He is tender, kind, gentle and personal. I am thankful for the many ways He brings His love, His hope, and His perspective to my heart.
For now, the Music Box is on my nightstand. It reminds me of hope and makes me smile as I hum along, “because I’m free…. nothing’s worrying me.”
Wow. Thank you, Jesus.
Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:1-5 NIV