I can remember reading books to my dad late at night to keep him awake while he was driving, my mom surprising me with my favorite childhood snack after school (Little Debbie brownies), my grandparents coming to the rescue when my sister and I saw a mouse in the kitchen, all of these "insignificant" memories that only pop up in my memory, often for no reason, but that make me smile.
At the time they were being created, those moments meant nothing to me. I had more important things to worry about - what hairstyle to choose, the homework I still had to do, or the fact that I was late to meet up with my friends.
But now, I look back on those little snippets of time and I laugh, cry, and sit silently as they roll through my mind. Yes, at the time those moments meant nothing, but now they are more priceless than gold. People always tell you to remember and appreciate the little things, but who, honestly, takes them seriously? There is so much going on in life - school, boyfriends/girlfriends, work, etc. - that we don't have time to stop and look at the little things happening around us. And who wants to, right?
I was like that at one time as well. I overlooked all the little details, forgot all those unimportant memories. And then I found out that they're right, those people who tell you to pay attention to what's around you.
We get so caught up in what we have to do that we float through life without really living. We tie ourselves down with work, money, working to earn the money we need to buy what we want... There is so much more to the world we live in than just material possessions.
I learned this lesson after the passing of my father. He passed when I was just fifteen and he'd been on the road for most of my life (he was a truck driver), so I didn't have many memories of him to begin with. When he passed I began to panic because I couldn't remember any major events that we'd shared and I thought I was losing my father in an entirely different way.
Then the memories of traveling with him on the truck, getting flowers and Hershey's kisses from him on my birthday, getting to say hello before he fell asleep on the couch, those little things I took for granted at the time, all came back to me. Those memories reminded me that I did get to spend time with my dad and that we had great memories all our own, memories I can hang on to when I miss him.
I learned the lesson of "The Little Things" in a very difficult way, but I'm glad I learned it nonetheless.
Treasure the time you spend with those you care about, don't take for granted the silly conversations, laughing uncontrollably over something you don't remember, working side by side. While those you care about will move on in one way or another, you will always have those memories to bring them back to you. What's more important than that?