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My twenty-three-year-old son, home for a visit, sniffed the air. "I love the smell of chicken and dumplings."
”Oh, yeah?” I dropped the final dumpling into the pot.
"Yeah, it reminds me of when I was a kid and lived at home."
His words plucked my heart strings. I stirred the green beans and choked back tears. Closing my misty eyes, I forced frenzied thoughts of meal preparation from my mind. Then, I inhaled, concentrating on the savory aroma which brought visions of my four small children and their gaggle of toys underfoot. I heard little voices squeal and giggle while the smallest one screamed, “Mine!”
You are all mine. I smiled, for in my mind and in that moment, all my children were home again, under my protective watch, tiny enough to cuddle and rock and tuck into bed at night. No matter how grown up you become, you will always be my babies.
A familiar smell had transported my son and I back to his boyhood, back to a time that passed long before I was ready to let it go, and I suddenly wanted to cook chicken and dumplings every night for the rest of my life to hang on to the emotions the smell evoked.
During dinner that night, I marveled at the human brain, capable of storing memories for decades on end, capable of tying one sensory perception to another so that the scent of a favored meal triggers recollections of so much more than food. As suddenly as those thoughts appeared, another thought occurred. What if we couldn’t remember days gone by? What if God had not designed us to recall sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures from the past?
Life unsweetened by nostalgia? Unimaginable!
And when does nostalgia run deeper than on holidays? So on Thanksgiving Day, as I pull my grandma’s antique platter from the cupboard, I will thank God as I reminisce about the days when my grandma's loving hands piled turkey high upon it, as my hands do now that she’s gone. And I will thank God that someday one of my children will pull that very platter from their cupboard, prompting fond memories of the Thanksgiving we are about to celebrate this year. While my grandchildren scamper underfoot, I’ll hear echoes of my own babies’ voices. When they scramble onto my lap with bellies full at the end of the day, I’ll pull them close just as my own grandmother snuggled me, my cheek against her apron, as she rocked me to sleep all those years ago. For a moment, we’ll all be there--generations past and present--in my heart, at least.
This Thanksgiving, like so many others, our family will take turns sharing what we are thankful for. When my turn comes, I'll thank God for one of His greatest gifts--the gift that connects us to our roots as our branches grow.
Thank You, God, for the gift of memory.
Diana, thanks so much for sharing this wonderful memory.
Livi finds new purpose in her troubled life when she joins her family's small-town florist shop. There, the strong and wacky Wilson's Florist gang monitors the pulse of Mount Helicon, where customers carry stories even the local newspaper does not contain. Tales of birth and death, sickness and sorrow, love and betrayal, and even forgiveness—Livi hears them all. Privy to some of the community's deepest secrets, she sometimes wishes she didn't know so much, especially when news arrives that a dear family friend is dead. Faced with servicing his funeral, she is blasted with painful memories she's struggled for decades to ignore. Soon, guilt and grief over childhood and adult tragedies close in. Instead of turning to loved ones or God for comfort, she leans on alcohol, her long-time clandestine companion—but secrets rarely escape the close-knit flower shop crew, who makes Livi's business its own. Fumbling through life's challenges together, the Wilson gang often delivers more than flowers, yet when Livi needs delivery, can the bonds of faith and friendship dissolve her defenses?
Sounds like a book I'd love to read. Where can readers find your book online?
For Kindle owners: Purchase Link for Delivery on Amazon
For Nook owners: Purchase Link for Delivery on B&N
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Diana, I'm so glad you guested today and shared your special memory of Thanksgiving and about your book, Delivery. Hope you all stick around for a bit to chat!