SGLY: A memory worth making

By Tiffany Chartier
Special to the Anna-Melissa Tribune

She remembered. My dear friend remembered. It was not much, but it meant more to me than she will ever understand; perhaps more than I will ever understand.

As a general rule, I am more of a listener than a talker. While listening to others, I have discovered that what is spoken in the span of one breath also yields a complete sentence of unspoken information through the eyes, tone and inflection, pauses, and body movements. There are two languages communicated simultaneously in any conversation – the verbal and the nonverbal – and they are not always reciting from the same page.

When I left my friend’s company several weeks ago after a short visit, I remember thinking that I spoke more than usual. On the drive home, I chastised myself for rattling on. Then I realized that my words were put to voice so comfortably because I spoke of something beautiful backed by a thousand reflections and feelings. I was not rattling on. I was rattling the bars of caged thoughts. To not talk freely would hold captive notions that had been waiting patiently for a new day to be released – to take root and bloom.

I met up with her again just yesterday. We picked up right where we left off as if the last several weeks were a modest pause in conversation. This time when I heard my voice, I listened. I was surprised by what I heard. I heard a confident hope. I heard a youthful excitement. And I heard a passionate promise to myself.

I realized that I believed every word, so much in fact that I spoke as if it had already happened.

My dear friend smiled as she repeated the question she asked me weeks ago. “What would you say is your best memory?”

Before I could answer, her face brightened as she reached out and held my hand, giving it a gentle squeeze. “I know your answer. And I’m making it my own as well.”

“My answer?” I replied, watching her smile grow wider as she let go of my hand and strolled ahead of me. Turning around to face me once again, I could not help but notice she almost twirled.

“You said your best memory had yet to come. To be honest, I thought your answer was odd.”

I looked down, embarrassed. “Yes, I’ve been meaning to apologize for my rattling on the other day. I do not know what got into me. I – “

“Stop it! I know exactly what got into you. Authentic passion got into you – or came out of you,” she laughed. “You explained how each day holds the opportunity to be your best day… a 24- hour, God-given gift that has a beginning, end, and free-will choices in-between. With this 24- hour gift, we can make positive memories that will last us the whole of our lives, hopefully in other lives as well. And the whole of our lives can only be actively lived one day at a time. To borrow heavily from days spent or yet lived is to cheat the value of today. And today is worth every minute.” She gave me a hard stare. “Every minute,” she repeated.

My mouth went dry. I had no new words to give her as she recited mine back to me. “I can’t believe you actually listened to me that long!” I laughed.

Returning home, I thought upon how my friend had listened. Truly listened. She listened to the meaning of my words because she saw and felt the sentences I did not speak. She witnessed my excitement and joy for living, my passion for God, and my hope for what is still to come. I was reminded that often I allow my words to be coated with negativity.

I have gone through an entire day exuding little excitement, joy, passion, or hope. This led me to ask myself if anything I have spoken about in the last 24 hours would be worth hearing, let alone repeating? Is what I have given voice to in the time I have been gifted to live today something that exemplifies the goodness of the Lord or the heaviness of complaint?

When we live from a position of praise, we elevate God rather than our grievances. In doing so, joy is naturally free to express itself - possibilities take root and bloom and we discover God using us to make another’s day brighter and kinder… sharing a memory worth making.

SGLY, dear reader. (Smile, God Loves You.)

Tiffany Kaye Chartier

Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian author and opinion columnist. Submit feedback and connect for more soul lifts on Facebook: Tiffany Kaye Chartier; Instagram:@tiffanysgly; and Twitter: @tiffanychartier. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Texoma Marketing and Media Group.