My calendar has July 10th marked and every year since 1985 I celebrate it. Wondering what it would be? It is the day they announced that classic Coke was coming back.

You may not think that is celebration-worthy, but Coke fans are like that. I bought it in glass bottles until I couldn’t find it anymore. Then, sadly, I got used to the plastic Coke. I still remember the big hoopla to announce New Coke. And like a lot of others, I was worried, but I decided to wait and see.

It was awful! Worse than Pepsi! What was I going to do? Coke was the only soda I ever drank. Now I had to find something else. I tried every brand X and mourned. Renee was seven or eight at the time and watched my anguish and taste testing trials.

Now, in my saner moments, I do realize that it was really a small thing. But for us Coke-ers it’s an emotional thing. (Even the Coke Company was surprised by the emotional component.) It was turning into a very dark summer.

Then the news came—it was coming back. Each week Renee and I did the food shopping and looked for Coke Classic. “Not this week.” “No, not this week either.”

I still remember the day we found it. We turned the corner into the soda aisle, Renee ran ahead of me down the aisle and I heard her calling “It’s here! It’s here!” As I walked down to meet her, I saw a stock clerk at the end of the aisle. He didn’t stop what he was doing, didn’t even look up. But I saw him smile. He knew what the excitement was about.

It’s a very special memory—I even smile to write about it. In the scheme of world disasters, New Coke wouldn’t show up on anyone’s graph, but Renee knew it was important to me and she cared because I did.

Have you ever thought of it that way? There is a lot of talk about building memories with vacations or other planned times together. That’s probably what’s behind the saying about “quality time not quantity time”. But memories come from every day life, too. When we’re not even aware of it. We build hurtful memories by things we do or say—or we build memories that will make people smile to think about.

I’m sure little eight-year-old Renee didn’t have Scripture uppermost in her mind, or even plan to make a memory. She just cared. Each time you care because someone else does—rejoice with them or cry with them—you build memories of being loved. They may even show up on someone’s calendar!

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. (Romans 12:15)

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