Remembering the Good

CIS Leg & Vein Center
July 1, 2022
Where Do the Noses Go? (Part Two)
July 1, 2022

If I don’t write it down, I won’t remember. 

As I heard myself saying those words to someone the other day, the words rang truer than I would have liked. When I said them, I was referring to a small matter, something I quickly typed onto my ever-changing to-do list on the “notes” section of my phone. 

Honestly, I can’t even remember what it was I was writing down to remember. The hastily typed note has long since been erased, and my memory fails in my effort to recall what I was trying to remember. 

It’s not the only thing I can’t remember. Entire days of my life are gone. My mind has no recollection of them other than one big blur of time. That may sound dramatic, as though I’m exaggerating my memory. I wish it was an exaggeration.

Lately, I’ve been doing memory exercises. The brain is a complex organ and can be retrained, reshaped and molded. So I’m hoping these mental exercises will increase my ever-failing memory. 

But most of the time, I forget to do my self-made brain workout. 

It’s funny, sometimes. And not funny, all at the same time. 

My kids use it to their advantage, giggling amongst themselves at all the times I’ve doled out punishments to them and forgotten to carry them out. My husband has suffered the repeatedly due to my memory lapses, with the most recent escapade being me going to the grocery store and forgetting the one item he wanted me to purchase. 

As much as I try to fight it, time is somehow getting the best of my memory. Every day brings on piles of new information, and the old information fades away from my memory without me ever knowing it left. I’m constantly making vows to take more pictures, capture more moments on video, and write in the journal I have that is still mostly blank. 

Because I really do want to remember things. I want to remember the good moments of laughter, the little moments that are adding up to be called “the life I’ve lived.”

I understand the importance of story telling. It’s almost a lost art amongst today’s tech-savvy world of digital memories and electronic files. I’ve tried to tell more stories to my kids. They ask details about their early years, and I tell them story after story of the way they used to crawl, how much they cried, or their younger nuances of speech. 

Sometimes, they’ll ask about details, and I can’t remember. I wasn’t good about writing down first words or how old they were when they took their first step, so my answer to those questions in our story-telling sessions usually sound something like “I don’t remember, but I do remember my favorite thing you used to say.” 

Most nights, at supper time, our kids go around the table, and each share their favorite part of the day. It started off as just a fun way to hear about each other’s day. But my true hope is that in the retelling of the good parts of their day, it becomes the part they cling to. Because sometimes if we don’t repeat what we love about our life, we will lose the remembrance to a memory that doesn’t work as well as it should. 

It’s easy to go over the details of wrongs suffered over and over again in our minds, until it’s the only parts we remember. Ask me ten years later about how a person wronged me, and often, I can still remember. But that’s not what I want my memory to be made of as the years go on. I’d much prefer to remember the good moments I’ve enjoyed, the smiles shared with others, and days worth remembering. 

If my brain only has a limited capacity for remembering, that’s what I’m holding onto. I will repeat the good times until they are the main memories taking up space in my brain. My memory is fading all too fast, and if it’s going to fade, I want it to be filled with the blessings and not the burdens. 

And I’m pretty sure that as long as I remember to keep remembering them, it’s going to be the best thing I’ve ever remembered.