On the pretext of doing a bit of clearing out recently I spent at least an hour visiting islets of my past using the medium of ancient Mother’s Day cards, photos and letters. Events long forgotten; a card for Kate signed by the entire Illogan Sunday school group when she got poorly with chicken pox, a letter from my cousin that still makes me laugh. I’ve got stuff older than that from my time spent at Pool School (is it still called that?). What can I say, I’m a nostalgia freak!
I think I keep them as an aid to memory. Not being blessed with great recall, I often find reminders are useful. The ancient world wove events into a narrative which they repeated as stories in order to remember. As a family and on a lesser global scale, we did the same. The times we repeated the story of my cousin sleeping through a massive storm only to sit bolt upright when my uncle flicked on his lighter to check on her. Oh how we laughed. But it works. Forty five years later I still remember it!
I was thinking about how precious memory is as I heard about an early and risky operation carried out many years ago on a severely epileptic patient. The aftermath meant the ability to store and then recall memories was unavoidably permanently damaged. It reminded me of ’50 First Dates’ a comic/tragic movie dealing with the impaired memory of a young woman. How do you build a life when every morning someone has hit the ‘restart button’ and each day is always a first?
But then again not all memories one would want to recall. Not just the bad perms or the purple loon pants (big mistake!) but those really dreadful events that might well make us wish we had a faulty memory.
Our son recently witnessed an accident which had quite an effect on him. Talking to him I could see him replaying it in his mind only this time he would have been able to prevent it. He went quiet for some time and it affected his appetite which is almost impossible. We all have experienced something so upsetting that years after the event it still has the power to haunt us. Those memories come to us unbidden though we may have spent months if not years trying to forget them.
For my lovely but ‘not sure about religious stuff’ son I offered to pray. And he was distressed enough to let me. We prayed for the people most directly affected by the incident but then I prayed for him too, that God would take the disturbing power out of that memory and that Sam could park it somewhere in his mind where it could do no harm. In effect to be at peace in heart and mind. It seems to have helped; as I knew it would.
Love in Jesus,