Holding on to the Memories

Bringing you news once a week on the ongoing 60 Postcards journey (you can read a summary of the story here), and on Friday I share a story of an inspirational person, project or cause.

The definition of ‘Memory’:

– The faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information

– Something remembered from the past

– The remembering or commemoration of a dead person

No matter how much you want to plan ahead in the blogging world, it can take just one thought or experience to change that as the words that whirl around your mind urge to make an appearance before they dissolve within your ever-changing thoughts forever.

Although my laptop and I are joined at the hip as the Macbook is dragged around with me almost everywhere I go (and has the scratches to prove it), I still love the old-fashioned format of putting pen to paper. To do lists, plans for the future and ridiculously random ideas are scrawled and scribbled all over a number of notebooks. Over the weekend I was flicking through my old ones when I had a flash back to school and of the pride I took in the presentation of my handwriting on my textbooks. What I may have lacked in academia, I most certainly made up for in my clear, neat, pretty words where I held a zero tolerance policy for error. Now, as I attempt to re-read my notes, I curse myself for my seriously scrappy writing. Must. Try. Harder.

As the school memory faded I was then faced with a million and one of a different kind as I turned the page to find a list entitled, ‘Mum’. I had written lines, words, phrases and feelings – page after page – on what I miss about her. I remember exactly when I wrote that, too. It was just a few months after Mum passed away. I could only read a few before the lump began to tighten in my throat as I felt such a strong sense of loss once more and a sincere sadness that this list held memories of Mum that my family are missing too. My tears hit the page and I was angry at first that I was marking these heartfelt words with my outburst. But as I read on, I found myself smiling and laughing at Mum’s sweet and funny ways. By the end of the list those tear marks had already dried on the page and I realised that a new memory had been created with them. When I look at the list in the future I will remember this time. And maybe next time less tears will fall? Then again, maybe not.

I wish, wish, wish that I could say that I have an excellent memory. But the truth is, I don’t. Not for specific dates, months or years of things that happened when I was young. All of my memories are still stored in there, I just need a trigger to unleash them. It could be anything from a word or a comment to a smell, a view or a feeling.

It is fantastic to have a strong memory but, with the cruel unexpectedness that life can throw at you, I think it is important to document as much as you can. No matter how good we think our memories may be now, will they still be so good at the age of eighty?

Some of us have home videos, most will have stacks of photo albums, we may have boxes of tickets and souvenirs of events we have been to and now we have texts, online sites/networks and emails to hold on to information as well. The more the better, I say. Even jotting down a few notes about an experience can help, just as I did with my memories of Mum. And it is not only the good memories that we need to remember sometimes. Although they are painful to relive, (if tackled with care) those difficult times can be an important reminder of how much we have learnt – how they have been responsible for making us who we are today.

Being a ‘hoarder’ may sometimes be seen as a negative but when it comes to memories, I believe we should hoard away to our hearts content. You just never know when you might need them.

Until Friday, have a lovely week.

Rachael xxx

P.s. A huge thank you to Alicia and Angelica of About Time Magazine for their beautiful feature on 60 Postcards which you can read here.

You can follow About Time Magazine through their websiteTwitter and Facebook.

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