This post is regarding the blessing of memory, and the value of history.
I feel very strongly about journal writing - this may stem from the fact that if I do not write things down, I don't remember. I've decided that this is something I can actively work on. Without memories and history, how can I learn from the past, judge present circumstances, or make a plan for the future? How can I value friend and familial relationships and draw strength from them? My faith in myself is based on my understanding of where I've been and its relation to where I am now. I've wondered before if my lack of memory is normal. Is it common, not only to not remember the majority of your childhood, but to have large chunks of recent time that are so obscured that when friends relate them they are completely unrecognizable?
I read a funny piece in a recent Reader's Digest on the subject that is far funnier than I have energy to be tonight. It made me feel a little more normal. I can't find the link, or I would include it here.
But, like I said, this is something I'm going to work on. I'm a little nervous, I'll confess. You never know what a current perspective on a past event will result in. I was given a good piece of advice in starting this endeavor however. I will try to remember through a lens of gratitude. I probably won't post the results from this experiment, but I felt it necessary to mark the beginning of the journey. I need to know where I come from. Maybe I don't remember because I simply haven't taken time to stop and remember.
In gratitude, I do want to post the first couple of memories that have come to mind.
* I remember sitting in the front room with my mom during Christmas time as she would wrap presents. Others were there with us, and I remember the Christmas tree with it's lights. I don't remember where mom pulled the presents from, because I don't remember having the opportunity to see them before they were wrapped. I only remember mom pointing to one she had just wrapped in front of me and saying, "That one is yours.", and not having any idea what it was. I was amazed at the cunning I figured that must have required. Of course, I also remember the tv being on at the time and am sure that that was helpful. Being the present-wrapper now, I'm not sure I could duplicate her success.
* I remember making ornaments out of beads and pipe cleaners with my mom, sister, and at least one of my brothers. I remember being shown how to make patterns with the colors and how to string the beads from largest to smallest to make an icicle effect. I remember the pride with which I hung those ornaments that year and every year following. I always loved how the semi-transparent beads sparkled in the tree lights.
One more for good measure:
* I remember the old Christmas lights - you know, the ones where one light burned out and the whole string went out and you had to replace each light until you found the faulty one? My mom was so fond of lights that we must have had 30 strands. Every year, it seems that one of us would help dad untangle and test the strings of lights. I remember how hot they were on bare feet when one accidentey stepped on the strand while it was layed out being tested. I also remember how festive the front room carpet looked with all the lights decorating it.