Home > Family, Wilson Stories > more thoughts on memories

more thoughts on memories

popartMemory is a tricky thing – no?

My last post ‘sunday, normal sunday‘ subtly introduced a couple of thoughts on the theme of memory – namely the preservation of memories and the uncertainty of memories.

My first memory in life is a picture that I have in my mind of walking down the hallway in the house I grew up in, holding my baby brother in a modified bear hug.

Evidently, I heard the doorbell ring and I loved to show off my new little friend – so when my mom went for the door, I went for the baby.

Eventually, my parents had to put up a gate in Mike’s door because they were worried I would drop him trying to pull him out of his crib.

There is a weird thing about my memory.

When I think about walking down the hallway I can remember both the feeling of little brother squirming in my arms and I can actually see myself walking down the hall.

It is as though the memory of that one event is simultaneously my own experience wedded with that of my mom.

These childhood stories have a point to them, a point that my little brother made over Christmas when he said to me “Lee, do you really remember . . . or have you just been told the story so many times that you think you remember?”

I have no choice but to say both.

How else can I explain that I see this memory from my mom’s point of view?  How else would it be possible for me to see what my face looked like? What Mike’s face looked like?

I have to conclude that I really do remember.

That memory of Mike wriggling in my arms is mine.  Its real.

But the reality of that moment, that memory, is supplemented by cherished stories and photographs.

My memory, while uncertain and undependable, has been aided by my mom reminding me.  Aided by the photos of my childhood, lovingly preserved by my mom and dad (my little brother has tried, without success, to convince me that I dropped him – this is patently false).

I hope that, as a parent, I will lovingly remind my children of the times we share – documenting some of those moments to help them hold fast their own memories of cherished moments like these.

What’s more, I thank God that he has lovingly given us a written Record of memories – moments in His history that show us who he is and who we are in him.

These stories, more than any other, are the ones that really matter.

. . . . . . .

What is your earliest memory? Do you really remember it from your perspective or do you think you remember it because of the stories and photos you have heard?

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  1. jen
    January 23, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    This isn’t my earliest memory, but I have this vague memory from after we’d moved back to Alaska. We were in a tiny apt, just me, Kate, mom, and dad and I remember waking up to noises from the kitchen. I remember walking out there and 2 men were stealing our pots and pans from the drawer where we kept them. I remember my mom coming out and not knowing what to do because, seriously, they were stealing the pots and pans. This night is something I have remembered pretty frequently for almost 20 years. Well, about 3 of 4 years ago I started talking to my mom about it and she looked at me like I had absolutely lost my mind. Apparently we were never robbed, especially by random men taking only our pots and pans, but I believed it for over a decade. I still “remember” it. Weird.

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