What “Good Old Days”?

Old people–sometimes mid-lifers, too–are known for their tendency to talk endlessly about “the good old days.” I don’t do that.

Yes, of course I remember a few good things from my childhood and youth and occasionally mention them to someone. But not as many things or as often as some people I know. Too much of my young life was darkened by an unwanted move when I was eight years old.

I’d never expected to be uprooted and have to leave friends and familiar things–my whole life, seemingly–and relocate to a new city in another state and start life all over again from scratch. I was hurt and angry. So I wasn’t inclined to try to adjust. Consequently, I spent a number of years growing fatter and more miserable.

Not exactly what I’d call “good old days.”

Moving away from there was a pleasure–I wouldn’t have cared where we went–and I hoped things would be better with the new city. I was a pre-teen then, however, and growing into adolescence is tough–no matter what.

But when I came down with acute viral encephalitis during the eighth grade and almost died, what hope I might’ve had for a better life seemed to die, even though I lived. Recovery was long and stressful, and I’m not sure I’ve ever felt nearly as strong and “normal” as I had before.

I can’t say whether my very small store of memories from childhood and my early teen years is a result of the encephalitis, but the memories I have are sketchy and sporadic. I don’t remember that much about high school or college, either. Even a lot of my adult life seems to be blurred or at last hiding in some inaccessible spot in my brain.

All of that to say I am not an old person who thinks back to the good old days. I remember too many days that aren’t worth talking about and too few to bother talking about.

If I  sound miserable talking about my past, I apologize. The fact is I’m not overly concerned about a past that seems, well, to be so very far in the past. I’m more interested in the present, anyhow. And in the future.

Being able to wake up every day and function just as well as I did the day before is more wonderful than you can imagine. Productive projects that keep me productively busy are definitely something to be thankful for. And the assurance of Heaven someday is far beyond wonderful.

I’m not in a rush to get there, you understand. But I’m thankful I have eternal life in God’s presence to look forward to. It will be perfect in every way this earthly life has so often proven imperfect.

What about you? Are you focused on the past, the present, or the future? How about leaving a comment?


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Best regards,


4 thoughts on “What “Good Old Days”?

  1. You know, we humans have this wonderful mental appendage called memory. It is such a necessary part of our ability to think and move about in the world. Without it, every time we opened the door to our house we would be exploring.
    For my part I have an exquisitely detailed memory of many events in my life going back to when I was two. My mother has confirmed for me many times the things I recollect are true events that happened.
    Some things seemed to have disappeared from my memory after I was almost killed in an earthquake in Colombia. However, there have been tendrils of memory reconnecting until now I have an almost complete picture of the things that happened after they pulled me out of the debris.
    I have so many memories, I remember kids from second grade whom I haven’t seem in 51 years. (we moved away) Conversations with people I had while on the swim team.
    There are two memories – really 1 now – that have been haunting me lately. I remember everything about the situation, have complete control of everything that happened but can’t seem to explain my resulting actions. I can’t seem to remember why it was I had the attitude I had, as if someone imposed upon me some sort of reaction totally out of character for me as well as against my natural desire. Strange. And lately it has been bothering me so much. After all these years it just came upon me that something was amiss. The events that transpired were not something I wanted. Very strange.
    So I have been having this internal debate so as to manage the sadness, or loss. I am coming around and trying to get back into the swing of things. No one else is aware of this but you, Roger, someone I feel I can trust implicitly.
    it may never go away completely but it’s ok. Who knows if the stresses of building this business here has caused me these internal conflicts. I, for one, gave up trying to understand people, including myself, long ago.
    Anyway, I so enjoy your posts and feel very happy to have encountered a friend whom I admire. The truth is I admire few people. SO there you have it…


    • Tom, I loved your comment about memory and going out the front door. Some memories are well worth forgetting. In your case, whatever is bothering–would haunting be a better word?–you now. In mine, it’s one or two things I feel badly about and can’t undo or redo.

      That’s one of many reasons I thank God daily for his mercy and his forgiveness and thank him for helping me move (however slowly) beyond regrets about the past.

      I have very few close friends. My wife, Kathleen, is my best friend, though, and I can’t imagine what life without her would be like. But I value your friendship more than I can ever tell you. We may live worlds apart, but our minds and spirits seem to occupy adjacent places in this world.

      Love, whether of spouse or of a brother, involves wanting what’s best for the other person and being willing to sacrifice to make that possible. Of course, 1 Corinthians 13 says it far better, but only God is capable of loving that perfectly.

      I appreciate your belief in my trustworthiness. I feel the same way about yours.

      Now, before I forget… I don’t know if anyone else reads our comments, but I just want to make sure you realize they’re out there in public. If you want to move our discussions to a more private media, just write to me at Roger@RogerBruner.com.

      Continuing to pray for your needs…all of them. 🙂


  2. No, I don’t worry about other people reading these things. There is nothing unnatural or unclean about them. I’m pretty easy-going too. I’m beginning to feel better about this anyway. I need to start writing more, and incorporate some of these things into a manuscript. I am just so busy with the restaurant at the moment I have no energy to do it. But I am interested in these posts as they are at once interesting and entertaining – at least for me. Thsnks for all your attention. In another time I will fill you in on the details of what was bothering me.


  3. Fair enough, Tom. I was just wanted to make sure you realized your comments (and mine) are public. I’m glad you’re feeling better about what’s been bothering you. Thanks so much for the kind words about my posts. Sometiimes I get so desperate for a topic that I wonder. Happy to provide my attention. That’s what friends are for.


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