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A Memory
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A Memory

By Bernadette A. Moyer

What makes a memory? And what allows us to remember some things and to forget others?

On February 23, 1998 I planted a cactus at our home in Delaware. Why on earth would I remember that date? When I have planted many things throughout the years? That cactus is doing really well and has grown more than 6 feet during these past 15 years.

So why do I remember that date? Because I was planting that cactus when my then 17 year old daughter called to tell me that one of her closest classmates had committed suicide. This was the same date but 15 years earlier my daughter’s father died.

I never held it against that cactus but recently have looked at it and wondered if by chance maybe I should get rid of it. After all every time I see it, I think of Abby and her untimely death.

Whenever I dial around the television and catch a glimpse of the reruns of The Gilmore Girls I fondly remember our daughter Briana and all the years we watched back to back episodes together. It was our time and the guys just left us alone. Most often we watched them in my bed and cuddled up together. They are fond memories for sure.  

I have this same experience when I catch the TV series Wings, since my husband and I used to watch them every night after getting the twins ready for bed when they were just infants.

What makes a memory is it a good time or a bad time, a time to remember. One of the fun things for me is when old friends gather and start the conversation with, “remember when?” and the stories are abundant and just flow.

Over the Memorial weekend we celebrated at the beach with our same neighbors for more than a decade. When they moved in they were sans kids and now have two young sons running around on their bikes and scooters. Their kids are doing the same things our kids used to do. Our kids spent many summers at the beach and the community pool starting with the baby pool and all the way to becoming divers at the deep end.  Now they are grown adults doing what young people do.  

We have so many memories of so many fun-filled summers. I can’t think of one bad memory as hard as I try. We often started summer vacation on the very last day of school with the SUV packed. Our tradition was listening to the classic song “Schools Out” by Alice Cooper and singing it loudly as we drove to the ocean to start our summer vacation.  We all lived for our summers at the beach. Every July 4th holiday and for many years we shopped at the Old Navy store for the All American Flag tee-shirt for all four of us.  It was yet another small tradition and now serves as a fond memory.

You always remember weddings, funerals and baby births and Christenings. You also remember where you were when 9/11 happened and at my age when President Kennedy was shot and killed. Some things we never forget.

Our memories are the mental photo albums of significant events in our life often accompanied with a strong emotion. As we age our memories become like warm blankets that keep the chill off of us as we age.  My husband and I share a long history filled with more than two decades of memories. We have "our" history and isn’t that what a memory is, our very own history.

Here is to making memories and keeping memories close to our hearts. Often a fond memory can take the sting out of an otherwise unpleasant experience. In our family we have so many wonderful memories and it is fun just pulling out the old memory bank and remembering them.

Happy Memories …