As you get older, your memories become pretty important. You remember past relationships and wonder what happened. Or what would have become of it if you had done this or he had done that? Maybe your life would not have turned out the way it did. Though it could have been worst instead of better too. We all make mistakes along the way in this journey of our life. I myself, have made quite a few. Now as I reflect on it, my life and my memories, I think my life has been fairly normal. My memories are good and when I think about them I like to write them down (I have to write everything down). That way I will have them just in case I can't remember them later on.
|Mom at our first house|
I was not aware of being any different from others, but I seem to have a much better memory than most people. Someone asked me what was my earliest memory and I didn't even have to think about it. I was still sleeping in a crib! My mother came in to ask me what kind of doll I wanted Santa Claus to bring me. I think it was Christmas Eve and we lived in our second house, which we have always called the red house. I told her a Jeannie doll and must be that was what I got. My crib was upstairs in our house and there was a big blackboard at the top of the stairs that my father took out of the old schoolhouse he bought on the property next door. I didn't remember using that blackboard but it was always in my memories and dreams. Years later, my parents spoke of that particular blackboard and how my father removed it from the schoolhouse for our house. I thought to myself, "Oh yeah, that's the blackboard in my memories."
|Me, making memories!|
Yet there are times when I meet people that I knew in my past and I don't remember them now. How embarrassing is that! I blame it on my age. In truth, some relationships were more meaningful than others so I think that is why they are still clear in my mind. Often people block a memory because it was a bad one and they just put it out of their mind. I haven't had to do that so much. Most of my memories I can live with just fine. It is just that I have so many. One problem is that I remember things exactly how they happened or when and others don't remember it like I do. I just say what I remember and leave it at that. I know most people have a distorted memory or they change it a bit to make it more interesting or to make their part in it bigger or better.
I worked for a lot years in nursing homes and some of the residents did not know their family members or their names. Yet they could tell you in detail about their early years. A lady I took care of never spoke. She would just nod her head for yes or no. One time her medication got messed up and nobody noticed. I took her in for a shower and sitting in the shower chair she spoke! Then she started talking nonstop. I wanted to ask her everything I wondered about. Of course as soon as her medications were straightened out I never heard her talk again. That was why I liked to play the big band music CDs during their dinner hour. Some residents who never responded to anyone or anything would start tapping or moving their heads to the music. A few would even singing along. I loved it. Just play Led Zeppelin for me!
|My parents, 1942|
My parents had gathered a lot of memories over their sixty years of marriage. My mother would share them with me often. They both had a easy, good nature about them and humor was key to their happiness. My father was always telling a joke and he always had a new one to tell. He took care of my mom when she got sick with Cushing's Syndrome around 1976. I would hear them laughing over something together. Once my mom was crippled from the disease, her memories became even more important to her than ever. She had done a lot of physical things in her life and the memories of them gave her comfort the best they could. Being forced to a life of medications,walkers and beds she found other interests but it was never the same.