Family Connections and a Slice of Grapefruit

It’s amazing how the simplest things can stir warmhearted memories that connect us to our families. Memories from deep in our hearts suddenly rise above the surface clutter.

My childhood relationship with my mom was never easy. It’s harder to remember the good than the bad. Despite all the healing and forgiveness, and the fact that at times she was my best friend, I’m just beginning to put the good moments into the photo albums of my memories.

Tonight I was slicing grapefruit. I’ve been craving it all week and decided to indulge. I’m usually too impatient to eat fresh grapefruit unless it’s already packaged in neat little sections. But this time, I bought the whole fruit and did something I’ve never done. I cut it in half and began to cut around each section, just the way my mom did when I was a kid.

The memories flooded back as the grapefruit spray hit my face. And though our relationship was as bittersweet as the fruit, all I could think was, “Wow. She did this for me.” Almost every morning in the winter. We lived in Miami so grapefruit was easy to come by. But she took the time to section it for me. Who does that? A pretty cool mom does that.

Just like the latch that secures a family photo in a precious frame, that realization secured me a little more in the heart of my family.

What are the simple things that bring good family memories to mind for you? Memories you might have forgotten. A few sweet, even bittersweet moments that might displace the bad, or strengthen the good. What are they? I’d love for you to share them with me.