I Am Convinced…
My memories are a true representation of what I know of my past. Yet, recent articles continually tell us that these memories are at best suspect of total truth and fact. It is said that when you pull a memory out of your bank of knowledge, it is massaged in light of the current context that causes you to recall.
In other words, “they” say you change the facts of your memory to fit your current situation. Then, not only do you change it, but you save the changed version.
Really? If this is true, then how can I trust anything I remember?
Okay. I am not talking about facts that can be verified in some data bank. I am talking about real things that happened to me! You mean, it may not be totally true?
How do we trust what we think we know in our memory bank?
I remember… Wait… Do I really? Let’s test this premise.
We were camping at Sam Rayburn Lake (Reservoir) in East Texas. Cousin. Grandparents. Etc. My brothers and my cousin and I were tromping the woods at the camp ground. We found a vine growing up a tall tree on the side of a hill. We cut the vine close to the bottom, and then practiced swinging on the vine down the hill and over the camp road below. Just Like Tarzan! At the bottom of the hill one of us would tell the swinger it was safe to swing. My brother, Vaughn, launched himself down the hill about the time a car came along… Pulling a camper trailer. He missed that trailer by a whisker! We panicked and cut the vine down and ran away deeper into the woods.
Now, I’ve shared this story so many times that it must be true. I will verify and let you know later of the results. Who knows… Maybe I misspoke when I said it happened at all!
I know for a fact (really?) that each of us shade events differently as we experience them live. And each of us will recall the facts from our own perspective as we relate them to others. I am okay with that. But the general fact remains – it did happen! Right?
We have heard the song for decades. It came out the year we married. 1974. So, decades is a truth statement. Not a memory statement! Even with my slight hearing issues (okay, maybe more than slight), I always knew the lyrics said “corridor” instead of “corner”… and it was “Liked” instead of “Light”… Well, that is truly a muffling problem!
“The Way We Were”
Light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories
Of the way we were
Of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another
For the way we were
Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Or has time re-written every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we? Could we?
Mem’ries, may be beautiful and yet
What’s too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
So it’s the laughter
We will remember
Whenever we remember…
The way we were…
The way we were…
Writer(s): Marvin Hamlisch, Marilyn Bergman, Alan Bergman Singer: Barbara Streisand
Copyright: Colgems-emi Music Inc.
So, how do you handle your memory issues?
Michael Reagan would visit his famous actor and president father, Ronald, during the years that Alzheimer ravaged this notable man’s mind. I remember Ronald Reagan mostly on Saturday TV (I had to go look it up to make sure my memory was not suspect!) playing the host of Death Valley Days.
Amazing memories! Verified, of course!
Anyway, when Michael would walk into the room to visit his dad who’s memory was ravished by the disease, the most Ronald Reagan could say, “That’s the man that gives me a kiss.” Memory gone of his child but a memory of a kiss lingered still.
Here’s my thought. In our modern times we have the ability to record memories as they occur – either through sight and sound (video and pictures), or through the written word (social media, blogging, journal, etc.). What ever works for you, begin recording, document what you record and then save it for the future. Like old school annuals, there will come a day that you will open them with joy and begin remembering those old times as if they happened today! Now… Where are those books?
(Of course, maybe they did, maybe they didn’t, what with your memory issues and all…!)