My maternal grandmother figured prominently in my life, so I have many memories of her. I know that my younger sister and I stayed with her often, and one of things we did was take walks with her -- to an old abandoned cemetery, to an elderly friend, down the train tracks, to the creek, to the strawberry patch -- and just being around her home, watching her cook, swinging on the tree swing, taking care of flowers, helping in her garden, and feeding the multitude of cats that she cared for (but disavowed any interest in).
It's no accident that I have these memories, and I am glad that I have them, but I have often wondered about their purpose. What am I to do with them? I don't long for a return to that time (I'm not nostalgic about them), but I am comforted by the fact that I can remember so many details of being with her.
In his enjoyable book of meditations called The Book of Moonlight: Why Life Is Good and God Is Generous and Kind, Christopher de Vinck says that "God gives us the gift of unexpected, seemingly insignificant memories. . . to remind us that we are, indeed, still children -- his children -- and it is good to remember with a child's heart those who protected us, when we feel alone at night as we adjust our pillows just before we take a long breath and sleep." Indeed, it is good to remember, and I believe it to be part of the image of God in us that reminds of us his providential care for us. Scripture reminds us that God is one who remembers (as in remembering his covenant), and so too are we rememberers.
Such good memories should remind me to be thankful, to remember I am in God's firm care, that those he sent me to shepherd my life were all a part of his grand plan. It is good to remember.