“Recall it as often as you wish, a happy memory never wears out” (Libbie Fudim).
SOMETIMES THE FACULTY OF MEMORY CAN BE A BIT OF A NUISANCE, BUT MOST OF THE TIME, WE’RE GLAD WE HAVE IT. How much poorer our emotional lives would be if as soon as something happened, it was erased forever from our minds and hearts. The nourishing, strengthening recollection of events in the past is a large part of what makes it possible for us to grow and improve as persons.
Do you have a good memory? It’s a fact that, barring any physical disability of memory, we remember the things that we pay the most attention to. With names, for example, those who are good at remembering names are those who pay enough conscious attention to the people they talk to that their names stick. So when somebody remembers our name, we feel honored. We feel honored because we know their remembrance of our name indicates that we registered in their thinking. So, in return, do we honor those around us with the things that we keep in our memory? When people know we can be counted on to remember things that are special to them and to their relationship with us, that’s a fine way to be known.
Memory is a bittersweet affair, to be sure. It brings back to us the moments when our hearts were bathed in the sweetest joys we’ve ever known, but precisely because it deals with the past, memory also reminds us that we no longer have some of those things in our present possession. But that’s not all bad. Bitterness and sweetness do sometimes go together to make a delightful taste. I ache with longing, for example, when I remember my childhood. But the ache is anything but unpleasant. It’s delicious. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Oft in the stilly night,
Ere Slumber’s chain has bound me,
Fond Memory brings the light
Of other days around me;
The smiles, the tears,
Of boyhood’s years,
The words of love then spoken;
The eyes that shone
Now dimmed and gone,
The cheerful hearts now broken.