In a recent interview I was asked to share my earliest memory. I recounted the story of when I was hospitalized at age four with pneumonia. I was sitting in a bed behind the walls of a clear plastic tent, and I was holding a doll I had received from a visitor. Through the plastic I could see the image of my Father quite clearly. He was sitting in a wheelchair and he was wearing a thick, red, terry-cloth robe. He was also a patient in the hospital. He had been working construction and had survived a remarkable fall. He fell from the fourth story window, and hit some scaffolding which knocked him back into the third story window.
I don’t remember every emotion I felt when I looked through the plastic at my Daddy, but I do remember when the nurses came and wheeled him out of my room, it made me sad.
When the same question was posed to my husband, I found his answer to have some strange similarities. Here is his memory:
“I remember there was a time when my Dad worked far from home. He would be gone for days, and I would get so excited when he would return. At the time he drove a very loud red truck. When my Dad was driving up our street, I remember hearing the truck and running outside yelling, ‘Daddy’s fruck!’ ” –David Sill
It’s interesting that both of our earliest memories revolve around our fathers, and the desire to be in their presence. In illness or in everyday life—we latched onto the notion that this man was important. He brought a sense of security and fascination.
And, why the color red? I am certain there were other colors in the hospital room and in the home where my husband was a child—but the color red is the only color we each remember. It is such a powerful color. We associate the color red with love and passion.
On a Spiritual level the desire for the Father never fades. The greatest security I’ve been able to find comes from being in the presence of my Heavenly Father. It doesn’t matter how people disappoint—and they certainly disappoint—the sure foundation of His love is unshakable. His love is like nothing I have ever experienced. And the red blood of His son enables me to return to His presence time and again despite the disappointment I may cause.
The presence of the Father—it’s a good memory to recreate day after day.
“But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, That those who love Your name may exult in You.” ~Psalm 5:11