Sunday, September 21, 2008

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

3. People.

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."


Anonymous said...

What an observant and self aware post. I didn't know you struggled with those thoughts about Havirov. Funny is that I remember you & Caleb begging your Mom to drive you from the Hotel to school in Havirov every day because you couldn't even imagine leaving it and getting involved in life & school here.

I remember your room being full of games & books & stuff you created. I also remember there being quite the candy stash & old candy wrapper stash in your BED! YUCK!

I also remember you being so busy in your yard, in the trees, in the fort & slide were industrious even back then.

I so remember the bowl haircut. Your parents owe you a BIG GIFT for keeping you in that cut for so long. Maybe that's where the traumatic injuries occurred - fashion pain!

Would love to look at some of those old photos. Cute one of you sitting on your dad's lap (drawing and not paying attention to his talk! ha!)

Two of my favorite photos of you are:

When zachary turned one and NIcholas two we had the first birthday party at the McDonalds in downtown Ostrava (the only McD's then). They didn't know how to do a birthday party so your Mom & I talked them through what to & playing and Zachary was sitting in the highchair waiting for the chocolate McDonalds cake and you brought it out of the McDonalds kitchen for him (your moment as a McD's employee) and you're holding it at the right angle for a photo from me...smiling...talking sweetly to Zachary in the highchair with his bib...and Zachary is giving you a LOOK TO KILL. I think he thought you were taking the cake or just not giving it to him. Funny.

Second favorite photo is when we were at Malenovice before the renovation and you are holding Grace's hands and she is learning to walk holding onto your fingers. YOu're bent over just a little (since you were also only 3 feet tall!) and talking to her and she's working so hard to walk. What a sweet moment. (If you ever want to marry Grace, which I'd encourage, I'll pull that photo out at the wedding rehersal and we'll all get a little teary!)

So glad to reflect with you. I remember you as articulate, funny, serious, creative, excessive (I only drink apple juice) and a delight. I've always adored you, Sweet Tyler.


Anonymous said...

Reading what yoiu wrote made me want to go back to Havirov and visit people and stuff! Even though I only lived there until I was seven, I still remember so amny things about Havirov, good and bad memories!
Can't wait to visit Havirov again!

Anonymous said...

Tyler, I felt privileged to read this post. You opened up and let us all see what is going on in your heart and mind. You're really becoming an engaging writer, and I'm sure I'm going to be ministered to by your writing in the future. Keep writing!