Illuminating Memories

Winnie memoriesThe memories of our loved ones never die. It is, particularly, at the end of year when those memories are illuminated. The holiday memories are amplified: the Thanksgiving meals, the mishaps that might ruin the Thanksgiving meal instead turn into funny family stories, Christmas eve and Christmas morning traditions and meals, New Year’s Eve celebrations, observances, and sleep-ins, New Year’s Days full of football, parades, food, and maybe song. All these things and more bring our loved ones back into focus and we might share those memories bringing our loved ones back to life in the moment.

There are also other times of the year when a memory might pop into our heads, especially during birthdays and death anniversaries. Our focus might shift from our day-to-day lives to a cherished memory. Our memory can bring back the image of our loved one into sharp focus, just like they might be actually very near, illuminating our day. Remembrances of special events, like going to a sporting event, or concert, or vacation trips offer significant shared experiences that float back into our minds. They rest in our consciousness, lifting our souls like clouds in the sky.

Our loved ones who have gone before us are always with us. They inform us and influence us. We can never separate ourselves from them. They influence and inform our decisions, often subconsciously. What makes us the persons we are is made up of our genes, certainly, but also the people who have come into our lives: our teachers, our friends, and particularly those we love, especially our parents. There were times when we vehemently disagreed with those close to us. Those disagreements influence how we live and what we think. Even those strong disagreements are forever in our memories and illuminate our very being.

We are all unique. And we are a composite of the people who influenced us. We are a jumble of positives and negatives. When we lose someone we love and are attached to them in some way, it hurts. Those people are a part of us and having that part of us leave us hurts. But they will always live in our memories, illuminating our lives along our varied ways.

Who they were is important to us and so it should be important to others, especially those near us. For those near us, we can share experiences, impressions, and stories. “Remember that time when . . ..” (I remember that, I remember that.) As we get to know new people and how we slowly reveal ourselves in our new relationships, our memories of our loves ones can also be shared, illuminating who they were and who we are.

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