I recently decided to corral all the memorabilia and keepsakes from the various corners of the house, and finally put it most of it together into albums. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t create work of art scrap books; I just wanted to get it in one place, weed it out and segregate it from the rest of the flotsam and jetsam of paper in my life. It struck me as absolutely amazing that there were items I once cared about enough to squirrel away,  which leave me now completely perplexed as to why! I found a stone – a flat smooth stone like you might use for skimming across the water. I have absolutely no clue as to where it was from or what it was supposed to signify. I am fairly certain that I am free of any medical problem that would cause me to forget, other than the normal erosion of readily accessible information that occurs as we leave our 40s behind (which was not a very recent passing for me).

I also found pages of an old address book. While most of the names were familiar to me, and happily many of the people still in my life, there were names that I am convinced someone else must have surreptitiously entered into said address book while I was sleeping. Who are these people?! It isn’t even that I remember the name but can’t place the face, I might just as well have picked these names randomly from the phone book.

So lessons learned:

  • You WILL forget the funny things your kids say, so write them down.
  • You will NOT remember the person whose contact info you are entering when 5 years from now you decide to clean out your contact list. Unless you are related by blood or ceremony to the person, annotate the entry liberally.
  • You WILL suddenly remember that it was an important relic if you throw it out, so if you keep something, label it right away.

I enjoy keeping things that help me recall fond memories – my memory isn’t going to get better with time and it might need these little boosts. I did find many things that I do remember well and that warmed my heart all over again. Among them, an embroidered handkerchief from an elderly woman who I had helped long ago, a very touching letter of solace from someone I knew briefly but who was very kind to me, a great card with congratulatory messages from former coworkers after a promotion, and an assortment of funny greeting cards from my son. These things remind me of how much we touch each other’s lives and that often we don’t realize how deeply, or for how long. So maybe we will all do something today that will make someone a memory. What a nice thought.

“God gave us memories that we might have roses in December”

~ James M. Barrie