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Life - A Memory Maker
My First Day of School
A friend once consoled me when I was angry by saying, "Just remember you're making memories!" There is no qualification here for good or bad, just memories.
We begin making memories at birth, some we remember, some we don't. It isn't a voluntary action, most of the time. We don't stop and think, "okay, I'm making a memory now", it just happens. Like your first memory of something in your childhood. Take for instance your first day of school. You didn't plan to remember it, but you did. It may or may not be a pleasant memory, but all the same it's a memory. I remember getting to wear a uniform like the big kids. I was going to school! I was excited and happy. Do I remember anything else about that day? Not really, but it was a happy memory. I'm sure there are a lot of people who don't remember it as a pleasant day, maybe they didn't like leaving their mother or they didn't like their teacher, either way, it's a memory.
The popular image of memory is as a kind of tiny filing cabinet full of individual memory folders in which information is stored away, or perhaps as a neural super-computer of huge capacity and speed.— Luke Mastin
What is Memory?
So what is memory? It is remembering life's experiences. Whether we call it a filing cabinet or a super computer, it is a place where things from our past are stored. Sometimes happy things, sometimes sad.
We have long term memory where we remember things that happened long ago, and short time memory where we remember what happened yesterday. As we get older we often have difficulty with short term memory, like where we put the keys, but our long term memory remains in tact.
Scientists still aren't sure exactly how the memory works, but everyone knows it does. Your memory includes visual, auditory, and sensory components such as smell and feel, all compiled to make that special memory. You can't, and don't remember everything, but when you are paying attention, even subconsciously, you remember.
The Internet has given us a chance to unload some unnecessary memories. We don't have to remember things we know we can look up on the Internet. That must surely free up our memory for things like the date of our anniversary!
Gunsmoke - Marshall Dillon
What Do You Remember?
It's fairly obvious women remember different things than men do. While both may remember their wedding day, it's the women who remember the details of the day. On the other hand, how to fix the car is usually something remembered better by a man than a woman. We tend to remember things that interest us easier than things that don't and most women aren't interested in the motor of a car.
Do you remember your ABC's? I don't know too many people who've forgotten them. You learned them at an early age, but the memory of them has been reinforced throughout your life. You remember how to read and write, but do you remember where you put the book you were reading? Fortunately you most likely remember what book it was so locating it becomes easier with the memory of the title.
Do you remember games you played as a kid? Getting a group of friends together and setting up the rules of the game then playing for hours. Laughing and running while being with your friends, hour after hour? Think back....tag, hide 'n seek, or other such games. Johnny was the fastest and Betty the best "hider". When you stop and think about it, these childhood memories come back.
Do you remember that old man who lived on your block? You know, the one all the kids were afraid of. You went to get your ball out of his yard that day and he turned out to just be lonely. The two of you talked and he wasn't so bad after all. You became the only kid who wasn't afraid of him.
How about the birth of your first child? Obviously husband and wife have different memories of that day as it was experienced differently by both. I have to tell you, my first child is now forty-eight years old. When I went into labor, almost three months early, the doctor sent me to the hospital and they gave me medication to stop my labor. Not so bad right? Well, here's where it gets different. I was put in a room by myself. No TV, no radio, no companionship. The only thing in the room was the metal bed and the door to a bathroom I was not allowed to use. I had to stay in bed. I remember holding on to the metal spokes on the back of the bed when the pain came. It was scary and there was no one to actually tell me what was going on. In the meantime, my husband was sitting in the waiting room, waiting. Finally they told him to go home and get some rest. He drove home and when he got there the hospital called and said come back you're baby is being born. Now don't you think our memories of that day are a bit different? A day we both experienced, but certainly from different viewpoints and physical experiences.
What do you remember when you smell an apple pie baking? Did your grandmother bake the best apple pies with the smell filling the house? What about that special television show you watched with your father every Saturday night? Mine was Gunsmoke on Saturday and Bonanza on Sunday!
Loved ones and their special friends
Of course some of our memories aren't good ones. That trip to the hospital to get stitches after the baseball hit you in the head, or when you fell off the swing set and broke your arm. Fights between family members that scared you and made you sad.
How about the time your car skidded on ice and hit that tree? You can remember that like yesterday. That helpless feeling when the car was out of your control with fear filling your belly as you waited for the car to stop and prayed you'd be in one piece when it did.
There are some bad memories that make you laugh though. I remember my husband playing soccer with our son and his friends, with no shoes on. He kicked the ball the same time another boy did and lost a toe nail in the process. It bled for a while and he yelled for a while. The boy who kicked the same time he did was petrified. To this day he remembers kicking my husband's toe nail off! Unfortunately for my husband, we all thought it was pretty funny and get a good chuckle each time we recall the story.
Watching your first born go off to college is a memory with mixed emotions. You're so proud of his accomplishments, but seeing him leave home makes you sad at the same time. You worry about what is going to happen to him and how he'll make out without you. Those feelings stay with you for a very long time, even after he's graduated from college, got a job, and is out on his own. That initial fear and apprehension is certainly memorable and something you don't forget.
Life gives us memories whether we want them or not. Your first date or your first break up. Your wedding or in some sad cases your divorce. Your first apartment or your first house. When your first car met its demise.
Remembering when you got your mother that special gift she loved, and the curlers she always put in her hair! The list goes on and on.
The good thing about memories is you're always making new ones.
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