So sometimes your memory betrays you. Okay, most of the time your memory betrays you. Like for example, how you may remember an argument with an old friend that caused a riff between the two of you. When you finally have that heart to heart and discuss things you realize you remembered things all wrong. That friend didn’t actually say what you thought they said. Or you watched a movie as a kid and you remembered it a certain way for 25 years. When you go back and watch that same movie as an adult you realized the ending in your head was all wrong. Even how you remember a person. My grandma died over 6 years ago. I think I remember how her voice sounded, and her laugh. But I don’t have anything to go on anymore. No old home movies or answering machine messages saved. I’m going on those pieces still lodged in my brain. A couple phone conversations just a few weeks before she died, and a visit to her house just a month before she was gone.

It’s all I got, so I have to run with it. Try to keep it fresh and glowing, like stoking embers in a fire. Once it’s out it’s out. No more kindling to throw on the fire.

There’s no lesson here I’m trying to teach. There’s no moral to any of this. I’m just thinking a lot about memories and the importance of making them. My oldest was home this past week for spring break. I took the last part of the week off so I could spend time with her. My wife had to work all week and the younger ones were still in school(they aren’t off until the first week of April.) When the oldest comes home on extended weekends she’s often either sleeping, hanging out with her old school friends, or with her mom on some shopping excursion. I’m here at home making sure she’s getting her favorite meals while she’s here. I’m keeping the gears running at the homestead. I’m not ever going on adventures with her. So this time I wanted to be able to do something with her, so she knows I care and that I actually do like to spend time with her.

Wednesday was taking her to the dentist and the eye doctor, then being at home waiting for the heating and cooling guys to put in our new water heater. Thursday wasn’t much, but then Friday my daughter and I spent the day in Fort Wayne shopping for books and music, eating quite well, and just enjoying time together. We hit three spots for books and came out of it with a stack for each of us. I wanted to hit up Neat Neat Neat Records as well as I haven’t been there in over two years. Hasn’t changed much, and I’d hoped for that. For lunch we ate at Bravas Burgers. Probably the best burger and fries I’ve had in a very long time. We will go back for sure. After a coffee refueling we hit the road and made it home by 5pm. Saturday was just hanging out at home mostly, which is what we all needed I think.

Today, my wife and mom are currently driving the oldest back to school while I’m home with the younger ones. Making dinner and keeping the gears turning at the homestead.

I look back at my life, even just the last 6 years, and there are these moments that stick out in my head. They’re good moments: family vacations down south, trips to record shops, Christmas eves with board games and snack-y foods, a Colorado wedding, school carnivals, and band concerts around the holidays. They’re not grand gestures like trips to Disney World or anything like that. They’re just these little moments that define such significant times in my mind. More than a grand gesture can do, the trips to the bookstore, or a cabin in the woods, or the cinema on a Sunday afternoon are what stick in our memories. More memories we make the easier it is to remember them all.

Anyways, that’s what going on in my head. We made some memories this week, and I’m happy about that.

11 thoughts on “Memory Upgrade

  1. Strange that you should post this. I was having a chat not so long ago about how unreliable memories can be (off the back of an episode of Black Mirror). How they sometimes shift and eventually get a bit fuzzy. I’d like to think that the integrity of my memories are currently pretty solid. I have a unique zip file system going on in the ol’ brain, which means my memories are generally pretty tidy. I think.

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    1. … also, sounds like you spent proper time with your oldest when she was home. Definitely better doing stuff that matters than doing stuff for grand gestures. I think it’s easier to remember those types of things (the feelings and conversations), as they’re not lost in the other stuff. The stuff that overwhelms.

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  2. Memory is a tricky thing, but I think the really good ones stay firm.

    Whenever I meet new parents with their baby I tell them to take a zillion pictures, because we have photos of our kids at stages in their development that I don’t even remember their faces looking quite like that, but there’s the proof in photos. Weird.

    One way to keep memories is journaling. Seriously, write it down. Blogging here is one thing, but on a daily basis, just a few lines of the important things (leave out the mundane). Get a notebook from the dollar store. Takes two minutes to jot. It can really help the ol’ memory.

    Also: mmmmm books and music shopping, and burgers. Perfect!

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    1. We’ve got tons of photos, too. We bought two cameras when our oldest was born. One digital and one 35mm. Overkill? Maybe. But we’ve got the photos to prove it. The journaling is a good idea. I’d never thought of doing that.

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  3. In this day and age a lot of people can miss out on real great experiences as we are so engrossed in the virtual world. People visit amazing places and see great things with their own eyes yet are more interested in taking an awesome photo to share on social media than actually enjoying the experience.

    Sometimes I like to forget about taking a photo and just take in the experience, I’ve found this creates profound long lasting memories. Sometimes I am disappointed I didnt get the photo though! 🙂

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