I recently finished writing a book where memories and the loss of them are at the heart of it, Clean Slate, it will be available from Bold Strokes Books in September this year. It is a subject that fascinates me, but also one I change my mind about all the time. But still I think about it. Lol!
So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about memories. How we remember some things but not others. The way two people can experience the same thing and remember it completely differently. The way we lose memories as we get older…drunker…further away from the event.
My Grandfather has Alzheimer’s Disease and its hard. Hard to see the Grandad who helped raise me disappear a little more each time I see him. Hard to see the strain it puts on my Gran–looking after him when all she should really be doing is enjoying their time together. After raising their family…and me…they deserve nothing else. But instead fate has delivered this soul destroying disease to strip away the man he was. One memory at a time.
But it isn’t just age that affects our memories. We do it everyday. We ‘forget’ things conveniently sometimes. The events of our lives get twisted and changed in our own heads–slanted with our own bias. No one wants to think of themselves as a bastard, so we remember everything in a favourable light for ourselves. Don’t we?
Not always. There are times when all we do is torture and blame ourselves for things that were not or only partially our faults. We would gladly take all the flack to save someone else the pain of…whatever. Those White Knight days, lol! Now I’m not much of a White Knight…more your damsel in distress waiting for her White Knight to ride in and save her…but even I have those days. And today is one of them.
There are things I should probably wish I could forget…words that perhaps should never have been said. And there are things I will never forget…words that perhaps should have been said more. There are things that I remember differently and I can’t seem to figure out which version of the ‘truth’ is the right one anymore.
See, memory is a really fucked up thing. Everyone remembers it differently, and everyone has their own agenda…list of excuses/reasons…crosses to bear. But something I have learned…well that I’m learning, anyway…is that whatever anyone else remembers…how they justify it…excuse it…or defend it…my memories make me stronger. They remind me that I am worthy of so much more than I ever thought. And I will keep every memory I have…and I will cherish them. Because they, and everyone in them, are a part of me now. And my memories make me stronger.
I would love to say I’ll never forget…but there’s evidence out there that says Alzheimer’s is hereditary. So, I might. But not before I’ve made bloody good use of each and every one…and built many, many more along the way.
Some people say life is a journey. It is…but the paving stones beneath my feet are built on pictures. Those pictures are my memories. And every single one is precious to me.
Beautiful and touching. I could relate to all of it.
Thanks, Yvonne. Memories are painfully precious things.