Saturday, August 16, 2008

Things I know about memories...

Tonight I sat and watched a show that touched my heart in so many ways. It made me think about how truly precious our memories are to us. The show is taken from a book called The Notebook. It is the story of a love that was beautiful and showed that Love can make Miracles. But it also tells the story of a woman, inflicted with Dementia. She writes down her memories in a notebook so that when she can no longer remember, her husband can read it to her. She hopes that the words will bring her back to him for just a little while. If you ever have the chance, please read the book or watch the movie.
As I watched this movie, thoughts ran through my mind. How precious our memories truly are to us. What a gift it is to have them and what a loss it would be to lose them. Our childhood memories, places we have been, things we have seen and done are a part of the person we are when we are adults. To lose those thoughts would change us and the person we are. The memory of my brothers hand on my shoulder, as I became his eyes at the age of seven. That memory helped create the man that I am today. If that memory were gone from me, the ability to write and to see the world in such detail and description might well be gone with it. The traveling that we did as a family when I was growing up showed me so many places and people. The life time that Sheila and I shared... to be lost from my memory would totally take from me so many things that I learned from her. I would be a different man and want different things in this life without those memories to look back on.
When Allie, the woman from the story, lost her memory, she began to live a totally different life. Though the essence of her personality were still hers, she had to start over again. The photo albums we create in our minds from our memories are often all we have left of some places and people in our lives. The cherished memories as well as those not so cherished are so much the reason we are who we are today. Losing them would be the same as losing part of our very soul. When I think of My Sheila, though sometimes it is through tears, I remember her laughter and her smile. I remember how everyday she would say "Good morning, good looking." I remember how with but a gentle touch, a brush of her fingertips on my skin told me exactly what she was thinking. When I was angry with someone, she could just place her tiny hand on my big arms and calm me in that very instant. Sometimes when i find myself angry, I remember that touch, and I find myself calming inside. Without that memory, what would calm me inside?
Though she was my forever True Love, she was not my only love in the years I have lived. The memories of a different love still reach my heart in the night. When I am sad, sometimes it is that love that brings to me a needed smile. This life has blessed me with many loves, each a different love... each a special memory in my soul. I will leave this world knowing in my heart of hearts that I have Truly been blessed more than any one man deserves. The memories of past loves, the new I might make with perhaps a new love, will be what carries me through until heaven calls me home.
Watching my daughters grow and building memories with them help me carry on each day. Love that fills my life in so many ways, from hearts that will be with me forever, sustain me in my lonely times. Can a memory or I should ask, can the loss of a memory be so devastating? I can answer that here, through tears that cloud my eyes, but not my thoughts. I cry myself to sleep at night because of a lost memory. My heart breaks in to pieces at the realization that although I remember Sheila's touch, her smell, her smile and even her very ways... I can no longer remember her precious voice. Try as I may, and The Father in heaven knows I try, I can not remember what her voice sounded like. To forget more than that would leave me crying I think forever.
Cherish the memories that are yours today. Hold tight to them and write them down somewhere. Make a little notebook as I have to my daughters, something you can pass on to them so they never forget what they have been to you. Perhaps my daughters will sit with me one day and read them back to me. Maybe the miracle of those memories will bring me back to them for just a moment. Just long enough to tell them I love them and how beautiful they have been in my life.
I pray I have my memory with me until I go away to heaven. I pray that one day I have the strength to listen to a tape my Sheila made before she went to heaven, so that I CAN hear her voice and so that I can remember. Today... is not that day for me.
Your memories are the most precious gift you will ever have. Hold them close to your heart. Cherish them forever. Share them often with those you love so that they stay alive in your heart and mind. Always, Darrel...


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