Total Pageviews

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Memories Are Made Of This

was talking to a friend a while ago. As usual, I think my brain frightened him as did my inability to express what I meant. It's doubtful I can do better here but maybe it will make for interesting discussion nonetheless.

Memory is a fickle thing. I can remember the smell of Alabama in the morning yet not what my grandparents house there looked like. I can remember getting stung by a weird greenish bee type creature when I was about seven but not where I was when it happened. I remember chowing down on a bottle of Bayer's Children Aspirin and the dress they forcefully took off of me at the hospital before pumping my stomach, but I have handily blocked the rest of the memory.

I remember as a child, thinking of adults only in terms of where they fit into my own life. Now though, I remember them differently; almost as peers and I wonder about those people who were adults when I was but a wee lass. Were they married? Did they argue with their mates? Were any of them gay in a time that didn't accept that and if so, what effect did it have on their lives? Were they happy? Did they sit in front of the TV at night by themselves, feeling isolated and alone? Were any of them party animals who went out clubbing at night?

Why do I remember my fifth grade teacher Miss Kuester sitting at her desk one day eating her lunch and how it made me feel suddenly and inexplicably sad for her because she looked lonely?

Why now, at almost 45, do I remember things such as that yet can't remember where I set my coffee cup?

Will I be 90 years old and still have vivid memories of Miss Kuester eating lunch or the time my sixth grade teacher Mr. Benkhe dumped my desk on the floor and laughed yet not remember how to feed myself?

What makes some things, trivial as they are, stick so hard that we remember them decades later? Why can I remember my father smelling of Irish Spring soap one day in 1983 when he hugged me yet I can't recall the moment he died with such vivid clarity even though it's only been three years?

When I'm an old lady, will Russell still be in my memory... will my kids... will ANY of you? Will these days that have meant so much to me, the good AND the bad, fade and I will be left remembering only childhood nonsense as I idly pick at the blanket covering me?

What makes a memory? What makes it leave? I want to keep them all. Every single one.

1 comment:

  1. Memories are all we have. I also can vividly remember some nonsense event, but other important things it's had to remember. Memory is a funny thing and sometimes things will trigger a memory from way back that you haven't thought of in years.

    Kentucky Preppers Network