Looking at old photographs is an interesting experience for me.
It's almost as if I'm recovering from a light case of amnesia. There are a few moments and experiences I remember, but overall it's a fog.
Somehow, because I have trouble remembering what it was like before moving to Frydlant I imagine that it must have been a traumatic experience that is better left untouched. In psychology we learned about a "self-fulfilling prophecy" - something comes true precisely because you believe it. Over the years I've created a mental block which makes it difficult to remember good memories of living in Havirov. My beliefs are therefore fueled by the creations of my mind.
A few evenings ago, after a family conversation, I put on some music and cracked open a photo album. What I found shocked me!
In almost every picture of myself I am smiling! Not the "let's take a picture!" smile, but a pure, happy, untroubled smile. Trust me, I know how I look when I'm not enjoying something! (and surprisingly, I am completely comfortable with daddy cutting my hair!) ˅˅˅˅
It's gotten me thinking. A lot. And that's where these pictures help, and that's why they mean so much to me now. Who knows, I could have carried that burden with me all my life. But God sent several things my way to make sure that didn't happen:
1. Great parents who despite their increasing age still have sharp (and wise) minds!
2. Photo albums untouched by my hands for MANY years and
The people are the ones who have helped the most. Not just any people - but people my age, who I used to know as a little kid. People who I used to go to Sunday school with, or who went to kindergarten with my brother.
2008 has been a year of reconnecting with my past. The bad experiences may have been aplified for the past 7 years, but God is helping me make sense of what has happened and the fog is lifting. And wheras a year ago I would have attempted to distance myself as much as possible from life in Havirov, now I am filled with a fire to reconnect with old friends, visit the city I grew up in and regain as much knowledge and memories from that era that I can.
Many of you may know the reasons behind our moving and the difficulties our family faced, but as my dad recently said:
"The end may have been bad, but it doesn't mean the rest of it was."