Let’s talk memories…the old ones.. the ones filed so far back in our minds we almost forgot they were there… Well, almost…
Sometimes, we don’t realize we are in the middle of a memory until the moment has passed us by and we step back from the situation and do some good ol’ over-analyzing and over-thinking. It might even be days later, we begin to think about the moment, analyzing the details of each conversation; what the words meant, how the actions were or were not connected to the words. The facial features; the way they changed over the course of the conversation and how we could see through them but couldn’t get the explanation you were looking for. We etch that moment in our brains, trying to hold on to something.
This memory etching that we do never goes away even if we didn’t know we were doing it in the moment and yes, even with “Memory Loss” they still reappear. This is why our 87 year old mother who has a Memory Loss Diagnosis is attempting to climb out of the window at 3am to go and get milk from the store because “the etching” she did when she was 28 told her that she forgot the milk for the muffins you needed for the bake sale the next day and your mother would never let you show up without her world famous cranberry orange muffins. Phew that was quite the exhausting memory to read, can you imagine reliving that? Maybe even night after night?
It’s not always this way. Sometimes, we know we are making memories in the exact moment they are happening. We find ourselves stopping and saying, sometimes out loud, “I’ll never forget this moment…” and we don’t. We commit it to memory; the sights, sounds, and smells. These are the easy ones because we set out to make these memories. It’s like our 10-year old family trip to Disney; we know it’s a moment our parents spent a gazillion dollars on and that while we may have felt like we were in the throngs of forced family fun, we still came out with some solid memories and some epic family photos with outfits that still have us asking “why would we be dressed that way…” It’s easy to see why we have and hold on to memories like that. Or memories of our grandparents, how we used to spend holidays and weekends and random Tuesday’s playing cards and watching the Golden Girls. These moments have shaped our lives. They are the kind of thing where we can close our eyes, smell a smell or hear a song or watch an episode and be transported back.
Turns out that even the best memories just make us miss the things they were tied to; the way things were, the things that could have been but couldn’t then. We ache for these moments to be so much more than memories; to be pieces we could relive, if even just for a moment. And maybe we would change the outcome and maybe the outcome would change us (more than it has already). And maybe nothing would change but we’d hold on to the person for just a second longer, a little harder, fight a little more for that goodbye kiss… then maybe, we wouldn’t be so worried that that moment would be our last memory…
So, if it’s the memories we didn’t know we were making that mean the most, why not challenge ourselves to make the most of everyday?
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