No, I'm not talking about a nickname for my dear friend Dr. Tiff Riggers, although I'm sure she's been called Triggers once or twice in her life.

I'm talking about how something will trigger a memory or feeling in you, out of the blue. You don't expect it but it hits you like a Cambridge winter wind that whirls around you, through your clothes, down to your bones... it's a feeling that you just can't escape. And it seems to linger a tad longer than is comfortable.

For example, I wasn't expecting to feel both contented and gloomy last night as I chopped potatoes and carrots for our stew that was simmering on the stove. No ma'am, I didn't see it coming. All of sudden, a very vivid memory popped into my head... of sitting at the bar at my grandparent's house on holidays eating beef stew, drinking too much sweet tea, all while my uncles and cousins give the girls a hard time (out of love, of course, and innate orneriness). You can understand why this triggered feelings of joy as I remembered hanging out with my family, laughing at each others jokes, and cuddling the rambunctious kiddos. And then, feelings of sadness came quickly too. I lost my grandmother this past August and I suppose that memory brought on a feeling of loss that has been lurking about since the fall. Last night I couldn't help but wonder, 'Is this the way MeMe and PaPa made their stew?' After a few moments of pondering good times and remembering MeMe, I had to shake it off and get on with the cooking. I did not see that coming. And no, of course that's not how she made the stew. All food is just better at Grandma's.

This happened another time yesterday too... at lunch. (I guess meal times yesterday were a little intense!) I was at a staff lunch at the Associate Vicar's house and he and his wife have the two most adorable little guys. Somehow the youngest, who is ten months old, got passed to me. (This is where my sisters are thinking 'surprise, surprise' and calling me a baby hog.) I thought for a minute 'yeah, he's cute, whatev'. And then... well, I wanted to take him home with me. Not really though. Actually, I was overcome with this feeling of 'I want my own little guy (and girl).' Sigh. I was not prepared for THAT to happen while I was having my tea and chocolate biscuit.

Triggers. Do they plague you too?


  1. I totally have moments like that. For me it happens less often when I am cooking/eating than it does when I hear or see something. Some of those things make me melancholy (like when I go somewhere that we used to go with my grampa and he's not with us) but other times it makes me laugh out loud (like when someone makes a joke that was made once by a good friend and then I just start laughing at the memory).

    I think that there is such value in those triggers. Even though we should be living for the present moment, and even though sometimes we want to avoid the pain of the memory, reliving those moments, desiring those moments keeps our hope alive for the life that is to come.

    p.s. Yes, Triggers is one of the 15 or so nicknames that I get called. It is the particular favorite of IT guys (since my user name at school is often TRiggers). Love you both!

  2. I totally relate to that feeling of an out-of-the-blue strong emotional reaction to something or someone. It is kind of bizarre.

    I think sometimes those moments are God speaking within us to our most intimate thoughts: grief, longing, questions about the future...even questions about the past. I pray that God would reveal Himself in those sacred moments, and that in revealing Himself you would know more of how He sees you and cherishes you.

  3. Can, I think it was probably MeMe telling you weren't doing something quite right! You and I both know she wouldn't hesitate to tell one of us if we were doing something wrong. Maybe you had peeled enough potatoes. :)

    And... A chocolate biscuit??? Yum!


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