PIECES. 7:30AM. Just my dad and me. Cracker Barrel. Those are the pieces I remember. When I was younger I would sing at the 7:30 AM mass and my dad would come with me. Afterwards we would quietly come back thru the front door and if my mom wasn't awake and downstairs we would go to Cracker Barrel just the two of us where I would get the ham, eggs and hash brown casserole or pancakes depending on the craving for sweet or savory. Those are the pieces of one of my favorite memories of a fatherQa who continues to make me feel like I am special and I matter.
I don't remember how old I was, how long we had this tradition, why it stopped or so many of the details. There are just pieces.
I like to think that we are intentionally given just pieces of a memory that we need. Even bad memories sometimes hold just snippets that we can one day move on from. Those Cracker Barrel memories are the pieces we need, like a puzzle, that make it fit and make us remember the quiet opening of a door and the smell of fresh biscuits.
Maybe we aren't supposed to remember the whole picture and feel every feeling or each memory and moment. Maybe the pieces when you dump them all out make the picture. Sometimes I get frustrated that I can't remember something that happened or that I can't stay focused on my mat for longer than three minutes (or one!) But if there is just a piece, a pose, a story, or a visual of my dad sitting off to the right about 10 rows back while I cue the congregation to sing with me - barely awake at 7:30 AM- those pieces will be enough.