Remember Always

Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, Photoshops her father who taught her how to watch her money.My father taught me to sweat a hundred hours before spending a hundred dollars. He died six years ago. But he still shows up for every move I make involving money. He is also in my thoughts when I’m near an ocean, or when I hear an airplane flying overhead.

When I see yellow leaves on the ground, I’m reminded of my friend Andrea who walked with me in a forest of golden maples dropping leaves like tears, in the October before she died.

Rainbow cookies. The sight of them carries me back to my grandmother Omi Rosie.

And when there’s a moon, I stop to remember my daughter.

“I see the moon. The moon sees me. The moon sees the one I long to see,” I’d sung as a girl and later as a mother holding my young Marika. Our planet has one moon. I’ve been singing to it all my life. I can’t always see it but it is out there. Anyone can see the moon, just not all the time. Our ancestors watched that same moon. Our children’s children will look up to the same sky. And wherever Marika is, or is not, if she looks for light in the dark night, she will see the moon. So I keep singing to it. And remembering her.

We have the power to link our loved ones to anything. They are never gone as long as we hold them in our hearts and remember the gifts, miniscule or mighty, they gave us. Worried about forgetting loved ones, I assigned each a “bookmark” or two, special meaningful images like yellow leaves, airplanes, rainbow cookies, or the moon, to forever after be my signal to remember them. In this way, I have regular, but unplanned, appointments with my loved ones who died.


How do you remember the ones you love and thought you lost?

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6 thoughts on “Remember Always

  1. Elaine Mansfield

    Another wonderful post about remembering and the small rituals that keep us in loving contact with those we love. I need to do a little more with your idea of “assigned places.” Vic tends to take over everything, but I have my dad’s photo out, too, and a few things my mother loved. Mostly, I take every chance to shower my sick brother with love. Maybe that’s the best way to honor my mom. I’ll think about it that way from now on.

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      That is a truly great way to honor your mom, Elaine. If she has a heart in heaven, she’s surely rocking with love and pride at the attention you give your brother. And, you already do assign places for Vic – like what about the woods and the little spot near the tree where you talk to him. The whole house, the land. The tractor and barn. The bed. You don’t need to “assign” anything to Vic. As you said, he “tends to take over everything.” I could almost feel him myself when I was at your place.

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      I like the unplanned bookmarks the best, Monica. We can assign images and meanings to our loved ones as much as we please. But it’s the unplanned ones that can knock you off your feet or bring on a torrent of tears or seem to come straight from the soul of our beloved.

  2. Annette Corth

    Dear Robin,
    A beautiful message accompanied by another of your wonderful images! I am so pleased that you share them with me. I remember my husband, my parents, and my brother by giving them cameo roles in my dreams. They are all young, healthy, and beautiful when they appear “on stage”. I also remember Dick by having the photos from his celebration of life hanging on my bedroom walls and by keeping in the living room all the condolence cards I received as well as a series of letters I wrote to him a few months after his death. He lives on, unforgotten.
    Love, Annette

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Isn’t it wonderful how our loved ones appear healthy and vibrant in our dreams? After all the time spent watching their pale faces and fading spirits as we nursed them through sickness, they still shine in our dreams. So grateful for that. I remember Dick every year as my birthday approaches and daffodils arrive. yep, they live on, unforgotten. Cheers, Annette.


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