I talk to my mom every week. I didn't always, but since my Dad's funeral in early November I started calling more, and then one time she ended the call with "I really enjoy our weekly calls." I looked at my history and... no. We hadn't been talking weekly. More like bi-weekly. So I made a point to call her once a week from then on.
The other night she called while I was bingeing on a TV show I used to discuss with my deceased sister. I'd also been drinking a drink we invented when my sister came here to visit me. So if you had asked, I'd have said I was "communing" with my sister when my mom called. Not wallowing in memories, but remembering. And even though Mom doesn't get the TV show, it was kind of nice to talk her at that time.
There were normal things to discuss: family, health, my current visa situation... and then that discussion turned to breaking down why my siblings did or did not attend the recent family event. Who am I to judge? I stayed home in Vietnam! In the course of the conversation, I mentioned that Dad always used to use the phrase, "put the best construction on everything."
If that sounds confusing, you're probably not alone. The phrase came from Martin Luther 500 years ago. Even Luther's Small Catechism has updated the wording. (I know, because Mom looked it up while we talked.)
Basically, Luther was advising everyone to assume the best. When someone doesn't text back in a timely manner, don't assume they are ghosting you or angry, but "put the best construction on everything" and think of a logical, positive reason that they may be delayed in answering.
Anyway, the phrase was familiar to Mom, but she didn't associate it with my dad. Honestly, I didn't hear it every day, just occasionally dropped into moments of parental advice. Probably.
Mom and I don't really talk a lot about my deceased dad. Early on I realized she's doing fine. She's not a "grieving widow" in the manner that the phrase implies. She's busy, she's taking care of things, she's good. So Dad doesn't come up very often.
But it was clear that she was touched to hear that kind of memory. "Put the best construction on everything." She's dealing with some intense stuff that, at 81, should be handled by others but it just isn't. Maybe she needed to hear a reminder from her husband, via her daughter?
Memories. Good, bad, surprising. Have you ever had a sudden illumination and resurrected your own past because of it?