My Life’s greatest memories have been memories lost

Inspired by the Memory of Lonnie P. Brady *

* Before I begin this post, I’d like to begin with a brief explanation of what I suspect will become my writing approach now and throughout the future: While I understand the importance of proper grammar and English when writing what I intend to be serious subject matters, I feel that what is MOST important, is to simply get the idea out there in its rawest form before any details can be lost. As an English major and former tutor, I hold the belief that writing is a process and that due to that fact I will NOT (short of obvious HUGE mistakes)be concerned with grammar or spelling for the first writing of a post. However, at any point AFTER the writing of an originial post, I will then re-edit my entry to make things gramatically correct and error free

     As the title suggests, I am writing this entry because an acquaintance of mine has recently and suddendly passed away.  I say “acquaintance” because I don’t want to pretend that we were the best of friends that were ever always in touch, but he IS someone who I’ve known for as long as I can remember. It’s suffice to say that he was family of friends who are “family” to me.  Specificilly speaking, I’m pretty sure the first time that I ever threw a football,I was throwing it to him.

     I don’t have a LOT of memories about Lonnie and (even though I would LOVE to share some ) my blog is not ABOUT  Lonnie. Rather, it’s the idea of death and the means in which we cope with death and the loss of a loved one.

     Typically, when a person dies, there is a calling hours in which everyone gathers to offer their support to those most affected while also sharing stories and appreciating the “life” that someone had. Often always, these stories bring back strong memories in which people may have long since forgotten (or forgotten to remember) in a very long time. What I’m really referring to then, is our MEMORY.

     When I think of the past and some of the strongest memories, it’s almost always as an “outside observer” to said event in my life. For example,when I was 10 years old,I visited Niagara Falls for the first time in my life. While I remember being there, and looking over the falls for the first time, I was thrilled and amazed. I can imagine my sweating palms as I stood on my tiptoes and wondered what would happen if I were to fall. I think about these thigs but no matter how hard I try, I cannot recall the actual “feeling” that this created.

      I remember when I was a child, how excited I would get when the teacher on Romper Room would see “me” through her magic mirror. I remember Sesame Street and the Yep Yep’s. I remember being a young teenager and staying up “late” on Saturday’s to watch SNICK. I remember these things, and then I remember NOT doing them anymore. What I don’t remember however, was why I stopped doing these things. I mean, essentially speaking, one day a routine in my life suddenly ended and that was that. I didn’t “miss” it and for the most part, I forgot that whatever “thing” was once a part of me, ever was a part of me.

       I wonder then, what it ever was inside of my head that made me “decide” (though obviously subconsiously) to change my habit. It’s as if I had a sudden “epiphany” and that overnight, I grew up mentally–and for the life of me, I can’t remember what that “spark of knowledge” was, or where it went to from there.

     Memories are like people. They come and they go. Sometimes you run into these people and time is spent together and other memories are made and shared. A majority of these people that you meet in life though, are forgotten.  A moment or two shared which forever link you to a person, place, thing or idea. Something that you experienced which gave you some sort of knowledge to the world around you and taught you something whether you realize it or not in order to make you the person that you are now.

     Memories forgotten are like pieces of yourself dying. As the saying (sort of goes.. I can’t remember exactly) “the mistakes of the past are doomed to be repeated if we don’t learn from them.” Just then, the lessons that you learned, the moments that you experienced are gone when in fact, they should be considered and reconsidered often.

     With the ever increasing pace of the life that we live in and with the ever decreasing “time” that we spend truly paying attention to the world away from our computers, cell phones, jobs, therefore too, are we spending less and less time in self reflection and sooner or later I think a lot of people in this world lose the ability to experience life in the way in which it should be experienced because they’ve lost all sense of the “self” that has made them who they are.

      So, in closing, I think that the “message” (if you might call it one ) that I am trying to convey is that, while it’s important to love and remember everybody who is important to you, it’s equally (if not more)important that you remember YOU.  Because the memories that you have of a person, really are just memories of an extension of yourselves… in the essence that your experience with that person and the memory that you SHARE has shaped you in one form or another.

      With that being said, I’m going to end this blog by trying something– something that I think would be AWESOME if it could become the newest “trend” to sweep across all of the social networks in cyberspace.  I’m going to spend the next five minutes (in free thought and form) simply “remembering” things.  A list which, aside from spelling mistakes, will NOT undergo any sort of further revision.

I remember learning what a “nightcrawler” was when my Dad’s answer to what one was, was “because they come out at noon, you goof!”

I remember the first time I drove a car. It was in a cornfiend and I was trying to run over (not really) my brother.

I remember how fun Thanksgiving at my Grandma Miller’s was when i grew up. When the whole family came over and stayed ALL DAY.

I remember the book that my cousin Krysta had about the popcorn that goes out of control and filled up the whole house!

I remember my first winter campout and the story about “red eyes” which had me a little worried.

I remember doing somersaults for my Grandma Aggie to make her laugh.

I remember sneaking off to the Minerva “street fair” and almost getting caught by Dad.

I remember the first time I learned the song that goes “did you ever think when a hearse goes by….”. Thanks Judy!

I remember rolling down the hill in a barrel and ending UPRIGHT in the middle of a briar patch, and how ,in hindsight, I should have ROLLED out instead of crawling through.

I remember how bad I felt after I threw a handful of rocks at a group of swimming ducks.

(and time is up)

I didn’t stop and I didn’t think about those things which I would say next, I just started listing them. Those are vivid memories and they bring back many many more. Memories in which I’ll further consider while I go to sleep.  Goodnight all!

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2 Responses to My Life’s greatest memories have been memories lost

  1. timyates9 says:

    James,
    1st I am sorry for the loss of your friend/acquaintance. Losing anyone is never easy. Rest knowing that love is the way that each of us gain immortality–whether it is through the love of God or those close to us.
    2nd you couldn’t’ve been more right. My grandmother has been gone for 11 years now and there are some memories that are becoming unclear. Like other pieces of my youth, I’m finding it increasingly more difficult to match up the edges of all these pieces in order to make the puzzle clear. We all need to try harder to remember ourselves, and the ones we love.
    3rd nice post.

  2. Cristal says:

    I am now singing the hearse song…. thanks!

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