If My Memory Should Ever Fail Me

If I was gifted the ability to stop time for twenty-four hours, what would I attempt to accomplish?

Without hesitation, I would spend those hours writing a letter to myself in case my memory ever betrays me, a letter I could hold in my hands, something tangible to prove that I had truly lived.

If such a letter could dislodge even a fragment of memory, it would have been worth every moment spent writing it.

I would attempt to capture…

…what it feels like to be loved unconditionally.  I would write about the relationship that I have built with Craig and what it feels like to hold his hand in mine. I would write about the soapy smell of his skin, the feel of his stubble on my cheek, and what it feels like to hear his thoughts as we drift off to sleep each night…what it is to know true contentment.

…how comforting it is to know that a promise for forever is exactly that…to know that I can breathe and just be, without worry.

…what it feels like to have chosen a man who is such an amazing father, who knows such random, yet important, things as how to do Katie’s hair, how to assemble a preschooler-friendly, healthy meal, and how to comfort Matthew when he’s teething.

…how much being a mother to Katie and Matthew fulfills me…that although I am exhausted much of the time, my heart stretches as I close each of their doors at bedtime, knowing that they are safe and happy.

…the way Katie’s gentle golden curls frame her face, how she wakes each morning full of things to say, brimming with excitement, and eager to learn what I have planned for her. I want to remember the way she smells like a mixture of Play-Doh and blueberries and the way she gleefully sings If You’re Happy and You Know It while spinning in circles on tip toes.

…the way Matthew goes limp in my arms at bedtime and how when I shush him and ask him to put his head on my shoulder, he just melts into me.  How he wraps his still baby fingers in my hair and pinches the skin under my arms.

…how it feels when Katie looks me in the eye and says, “You’re so nice, Mommy.” I pray that I remember the way she fits into me right now, how her long arms and legs wrap around me and the way her hair tickles my face when I hold her.

…that Matthew lunges for me when he catches sight of me, the weight of his soft body in my arms as I nurse him.  I long to remember the way he lights up when I do The Itsy Bitsy Spider on his belly…how his impossibly-long eyelashes flutter as he drifts off to sleep.

…that I was not me before them.

…the happiness that this life brought me…from the small things to the big things.  From the moments to weeks to months to years to a lifetime.

..the gratitude that I feel for having been given this opportunity to hold happiness in my hands and that I never took it for granted.  For even one second.

And if my memory does truly fail me, then I would hope that I could at least read this letter and be comforted by the fact that I had been a part of such a family, a family that knew joy and appreciated the smallest of moments.

*This post is inspired by a blogger I met through Kris at Pretty All True.  She is new to me, but I was so moved by her post that I’ve thought of little else since I read it.  Please read this powerful post, The Weight of Tears.

**I am also over at my friend Abigail’s today, sharing my dreams in a guest post, “It Isn’t That Simple,” please come by and say hi!

Mama's Losin' It


  1. KLZ taminginsanity.com

    You are so lovely with your words and your thoughts.

  2. I did not read that post.

    I will read it now.

    Yours was absolutely lovely.

    And now…your letter is mostly written.

  3. Jody takemeasiam1.blogspot.com/

    Wow!!! This was totally stunning. Thank you so very much for sharing.

  4. That was beautiful. I would sleep. Not so beautiful, but truthful

  5. This was a really moving post. Thank you for sharing. I got that floating-on-a-cloud feeling when I read it.

  6. andygirl


  7. This is so lovely. Makes me want to write my own. Maybe I will…

  8. Alexandra174

    Isn't this the truth.

    I keep a calendar to write daily things down…just snippets. So far, I have 16 years worth of daily memories. I like to take them down, from when they were 3 or 4, and see what we did that day.

    I love it.

  9. This is absolutely breathtaking. I am finding it tough to leave your blog without tears! This is perfect and lovely- I adore this concept. I imagine you have inspired a hundred bloggers to do the same thing. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words!

  10. Oh, I love this idea!! I absolutely love it. I need to do this- I do not record nearly enough and time already has slipped by so quickly.. thank you for sharing!

  11. @sogeshirts twitter.com/sogeshirts

    Wow this was such a heart felt and touching post. I've only know you and Craig (BooYahDad) for a few weeks but it is so apparent that you two are both so kind and loving to each other, your kids, and everyone else. I must got check Kris's post out now. Great post Nichole. It really is about being there in these small moments.

  12. Fadra allthingsfadra.com

    I try to stop every day and drink in my life. I still look at my son and marvel that he is mine. All mine. So many people get so caught up in daily life that they forget the one word that stood out for me in this post: gratitude. I'm so glad you can appreciate what you have. A family is such a gift!

  13. Candice fashionablyorganized.com

    Beautifully written, beautifully said and exactly what I would say to myself too. Thank you so much for sharing that.

  14. L. Eleana leleanajohnson.com

    This is so beautiful. I feel like crying tears of joy. Your husband is a wonderful man.

  15. So beautifully written. What a treasure to keep and read over and over again. I love every last detail…so heartfelt and full of love.

  16. andrea (mamachaplin)

    "…that I was not me before them."
    *tears* so beautiful.

  17. kris

    I am so happy that you went to read Danielle's post The Weight of Tears.

    She is a gifted writer.

    As are you.

    This just sent tingles up my spine.

    And tears to my eyes.


  18. Rachel mommyneedsavacation.com/

    You are always so lovely. How can I catch some of this sentimental side of you? I am always so critical and vain. Hhmmmmph

  19. CDG

    What an absolutely gorgeous way to spend a frozen day.

    You are so blessed to really see the joy in your life.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

  20. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you…and you are so generous with your kindness, my friend.

  21. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Once I had written those things down, I realized that if I could attempt to write a similar list once a year, I would have the most amazing gift that I could ever give our family.

    The post that inspired me was simply beautiful.

  22. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you for reading, Jody.
    I'm so pleased that you came by!

  23. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Sleep is good too.
    I mean, really, there would have to be a few hours left over, right?
    And thank you so much.

  24. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    I love that image…floating on a cloud from my words.
    You've made my day.

  25. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    I know. Huge sigh.
    Love you!

  26. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    You should…we all should.
    I think we'd thank ourselves in years to come.
    Thank you for leaving your kind words. :)

  27. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you, Aliison…so very much.

  28. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    That is such a great idea.
    I am so embarrassed to admit that I never did baby books for my kids. It's one of my biggest regrets.
    This blog helping to force me to document some of the things that my memory can't necessarily be trusted with.

  29. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you so very much for your kind words.
    If any other bloggers do this, I hope they point me toward their posts! I would love to read them all!

  30. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you so much.
    I kissed a few frogs before I found my prince. :)
    I appreciate you coming by…your comment means so much to me.

  31. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Gratitude, indeed.
    You just never know what life holds and if you don't take the opportunities to absorb it all, you could truly miss out.
    Thank you for your words, Fadra.

  32. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    My husband truly is. I can't believe how blessed I am.
    And I love tears of joy!
    Thank you for coming by! :)

  33. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you, Melissa.
    I loved writing it and getting lost in all of the moments that our family has already shared.

  34. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Somehow I knew that you'd *get* that line.
    Thank you for your kind words, Andrea. I truly appreciate them.

  35. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    I wish that there was some guarantee that we would be able to keep these memories for always.
    I want to hold them close guard them with my life.
    Love you.

  36. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you, Rachel.
    The love that you have for your family is spoken in so many ways. Don't doubt that for a second.

  37. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you, Cameron.
    To have inspired you for even one moment makes me giddy.
    You are an amazing writer…truly.

  38. What a lovely post and what a beautiful way to spend your free 24 hours.

    I, of course, on the other hand, chose to catch up with friends, TiVo and get a massage.

  39. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Oh, make no mistake, hour 25 and beyond would be filled with all of those lovely things.
    I've given up on a lot of the shows I used to watch…I deleted the first five episodes of this season's Project Runway because I knew I'd never get a chance to watch them. I must admit, I cried a little when I did it.

  40. Renee 2old2tap.blogspot.com

    How beautiful.

  41. TY for sharing!


  42. Sherri oldtweener.blogspot.com/

    Oh Nichole, blubbery over here now. This is simply beautiful, something your kids would love to read some day….as will you, when these little bodies become bigger and their world gets larger. I just loved reading this tonight.

  43. ilanarose mommyshorts.com/

    What a beautiful post. The blog that have been writing for the past few month is more about the humorous and brutal aspects of parenting so it is nice to be reminded that there is nothing more wonderful than the simple act of my baby melting into my shoulder as she drifts off to sleep.

    I think you may have inspired me to write a post with a bit more heart:)

  44. I am pleased to know my post inspired you. And what a lovely thing to write if your memory were to fail you. This has inspired me…..I want to write my own letter to myself, in case my memory were to fail me. But also? That first part….about loving unconditionally and making a promise…that struck a nerve. I will be writing a post about it.
    Beautiful writing. You are a gifted writer.

  45. Peggy

    oh but you HAVE captured those moments and feelings. Beautifully written, and warmed my heart.
    I loved the line "that I was not me before them". I'm so happy for you that you have the family that you've always wanted, and even more so that you appreciate it. *hugs* love you.

  46. ksluiter

    this is beautiful. My grandmother died of Alzheimer's. Her memory did, in fact, fail her. She forgot all of these things.

    Coincidentally, today is a "purple day" at my school for Alzheimer's awareness.

    We are literally remembering those who died of memory loss.

    This post touched me. Deeply.

  47. Hope hoperoth.com/blog

    Even if you didn't have 24 free hours to write it, I'd say you did a bang up job with this letter!

  48. Jessica itrocks2bmom.com

    Wow. What an amazing post. I'm new to your site and this just brought me to tears. Your statement of "I wasn't me before them"…is so true. I might use that on my blog (I'll give you credit). Fabulous, fabulous letter.

  49. Natalie mommyofamonster.com

    Oh, Nichole. This post is so beautiful. What an amazing gift to give to yourself, and to leave to your children after you are gone. I started participating in Project Smile over at Alicia's (A Beautiful Mess) to help me keep in mind the little things that happen every day that make me smile. And for the bigger things, I need to start keeping track of them better…in my own hand, not by typing on a computer.

  50. Sherri

    This is so beautiful, Nichole. It's these little things that I would never want to forget, either.

  51. Heidi-D itsjustmeheidid.blogspot.com

    Lovely, my dear… Just lovely.

  52. It took me 2 years, but here’s my post, inspired by some of your words here. Thank you for your words. They sat in my drafts folder for 2 years, and this week I was moved by them again. http://www.alittleleftoflost.blogspot.com/2013/07/unconditional.html

Add a comment

(required, won’t be displayed)

About this post