My mom adventures in Fort Collins

21-Day Gratitude Challenge: Day 5

The prompt for today asks, “What is your most precious memory?”

I think I have a fairly good memory. I listened to an audiobook about a woman with a photographic memory of her personal history. She has nearly perfect recall of the events of her own life. As you can imagine, this carries with it its own set of challenges. I don’t have that good of a memory, but I do struggle sometimes with the way my memory works.

It seems, my memory has the disturbing effect of ruining a could-be-nice event. In particular, when I try to recall people that have passed, or monumental events in my life,  I struggle with an unpleasant memory taking precedence over a good memory. Often, I have vague good memories but crystal clear awkward memories. Is it this way for everyone, or am I just odd?

For instance, I’ll never forget the time that my Grandmother, God rest her soul, asked me if I knew the game “52-Pick-Up” and then proceeded to spray an entire deck of cards all over her kitchen. My wedding was lovely, but a scolding from my mother for covering my dress with my newly-minted husband’s suit jacket sticks out in my mind. (I was cold!)

All this to say, I don’t know what my most precious memory is. I would love to say the birth of my children, the night that I met my husband, the time I shared a loveseat with Ryan Gosling (nah, that never happened), but I don’t know if that is honest. My memories of those events–while vivid in many ways–are not nearly as prominent in my mind as the often-recalled and nearly debilitating-with-humiliation memories. Like the time I cleared the high-jump bar on the Fifth Grade Track-and-Field Day only to roll over and over and fall off the mat onto the asphalt and created a 8-inch abrasion on my spirit my face. Or the time that I thought it would be funny to show my college crush how my “flipper” (the retainer with my front-tooth glued to it) worked. Or the time that I was staying with a host family in rural Nepal and had a horrific stomach bug with no toilet in sight. I can still conjure up palpable feelings of discomfort when I recall an off-the-cuff comment I made at an educational forum during my college internship and the looks of amusement on the faces of the professionals in the room–‘Scuse me, didn’t you just bring the coffee?

Turns out, my precious memories must be so precious that even my own brain won’t give them top-billing. No matter, I am grateful for this crazy-making memory process of mine. Someday, this could all  be gone. For the folks living out their days in a memory care facility, they can’t piece together much. One day, my memories–good, bad and indifferent–may be trapped inside my brain without any ability to retrieve any of them. For those with trauma in their lives, remembering can revive suffering and hardship long since past. Honestly, I’ll take my memory any day over a memory that hurts me. As a fellow blogger wrote recently, a little awkward never killed anyone.

Today, I am grateful for my precious memories and my awkward memories. All of them and any of them make me feel lucky and blessed, because overall they point to a life that while a little bit  odd and awkward is a lot delightful and lovely. To think there are people out there who have no Grandmother in their life, certainly not one who would laugh and watch you pick up all 52 cards and stomp out of the room determined to never fall for that one again.


4 Comments so far
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I would have trouble coming up with my most precious memory – that is a tough prompt! I feel like the same as you – there are so many special ones, I can’t pinpoint the best of the best!

Comment by jeandayfriday

Well, I never do very well with any of those, “What’s your best…”, “What’s your favorite…”, “If you could have lunch with anyone alive or dead…” Whatever I answer, I inevitably think of a better answer about two minutes later. Thank you for empathizing with me. And thank you for your comment, so fun to see you back around.

Comment by jaymers

I second Jeanday, I would have a tough time picking just one. Loved this post, and what you write. Thanks for the link today!

Comment by RFL

You’re welcome. I thought of that phrase, and I knew I had seen it on your page, but I finally found it in something that you said in your comment section! HA! I really lliked that post, by the way. Elements of that post made me want to ask you–Have you read the book “Quiet” by Susan Cain? It’s on my list to read, but my husband just read it and I think it would help me a lot to learn how to better communicate with him & my older daughter. As always–Thanks for reading and commenting.

Comment by jaymers

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