My husband just reminded me of the little saying he ended his every day with, as a young boy: “Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed-bugs bite. If I get cold I’ll call you."
My closing line of the day was the prayer “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die (this is when I clutched the blanket closer, squinted my eyes tighter and waited for the death angel) before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” Almost each time I would think “This is it!” Being the child I was, there were several good reasons behind my fears!
I remember my first brush with death very clearly, and the heartache it brought, because I had a hand in it, or rather a seat in it. It started with love and rabbits; I loved those little bunnies dearly. Though I was only about 3 or 3-1/2 years of age. I remember my thought process and the problem of gathering those love bunnies and cuddling them into a cozy cushion on which I immediately sat. I wanted to sit on them because they were so white and fuzzy and soft looking. Turns out they were soft and they died a quiet death, and then they weren’t much fun to play with. Suddenly my Mother came on the scene and that’s when my memory gets fuzzy. The aftermath was most likely another “first,” but it seems I have put that out of my mind.
I remember when I was a little older, it would be about 1942 by now and my Daddy took me to the skating rink, and he sat me on a wide wall or rail, and I watched him skate. It was in on old tobacco warehouse; they would open up the sides in the “off seasons” and have roller skating. I remember the excitement of being there and being in a strange part of town. I perched there and twisted around to stare at the black night and watch the yellow headlights of the few cars that passed; I think this was the genesis of my love of bright lights! That old warehouse was empty for many years, it finally blew down in a tornado we had a few years back. As long as it was there those memories always surfaced each time I passed by.
I remember my seventh-grade and first puppy love. Of course, we had to act like we hated each other at school, but he would call me each afternoon and let me talk, and I would talk until I was hoarse, he would intersperse a few yeses, and nos. I didn’t care that he was inarticulate, I would tend to the words part; he just had to stare at me with those big blue eyes! The first love talk I ever experienced was when he leaned forward in his desk to whisper in my ear, “You have the most beautiful hair in the world.” It was like receiving a treasure chest; I would open it all the time and just let those words float out.
I remember my dog, Poochie.I was his girl, and he loved me unconditionally and no one else, or perhaps my brother a little a little bit. He chased friends home who shouted at me. The large yard was my realm, and I was the princess, he was my Knight Errant, he would do my bidding, and I bid, and bid, and bid! My Mother would call me to the house if I was in trouble (maybe 3 or 4 times a day) with a sweet voice, so she could paddle me indoors so she didn’t have to go through legs, tail, and fur to get me. Ah yes, my life has always had its exciting moments filled with surprising repercussions!
I remember my greatest excitement came at the age of 9 when I received Jesus into my heart, and my future was set; my course was sure. In my child-like heart I knew no matter what came or went, I was safe in my Lords arms, He would catch me if I fell, He would carry me when I could or would not walk, we would breathe together.
This says it so well: “Since childhood, you have known the Holy Scriptures that are able to make you wise enough to have faith in Christ Jesus and be saved.” 2Timothy 3:15 cev
I don’t know how I got on this subject tonight, but I know what will happen if I let it go on; my mind will get so busy digging up all of these old, old memories I will never get to sleep. Next to eating and great-grandmothering, sleep is one of the most important activities I’m involved in these days! Soon I may find myself back in this train of thoughts at the end of another evening, and when I do...I'll be sure to write about it as long as my fingers are still nimble and I continue to have enough sense to keep it light.
So, now I lay me down to sleep I pray the Lord my soul to keep if…