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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Forget…

(This one ended up being a little long, so top off 
your favorite afternoon beverage before reading!) 

It’s not that I forgot something. It’s would I choose to forget!

That’s this week’s Tell Me Tuesday topic at the Coloradolady; Memories. Here is the exact question about memories for this week:

“Would you rather lose all of your old memories,
or never to be able to make new ones?”

That’s a pretty heavy question!

Memories are something to cherish. Ideally you learn from the bad ones and build your character from the good ones. They are your past and the foundation of who you are. That’s why I scrapbook, the pages are my character. They are the events, people I love and the things that have influenced me told through my page designs and journaling. It’s how I perceive my world and that perception is who I am in the world as a whole. Even when I do a page about something less-than-happy, even tragic, I scrap/journal about the takeaway, the good I did find in it. I’m an optimist and those scrapbooks truly do represent my character.

In the pages of my personal journals, the pages which have been unseen by anyone else and will remain that way, is a combination of the positive things and the negative. It is a good representation of my life, but not who I choose to be. When I’m angry, writing about it helps me diffuse it. When I’m sad it helps to lift the clouds. It has let me get over frustration about a decision I thought was a bad one that someone else made that didn’t really have an effect on me and it’s helped me realize countless times that my anger was actually fear. Internal fear was a much easier foe to defeat than the perceived outer attack. In essence those journals are the supplies in the craft room where I create my character. I wouldn’t want someone to see all the scraps on the floor, just the finished work. Except in the case of character, the work is never finished. I still don’t want anyone looking at my unvacuumed floor, just what I have on display.

So, my memories are precious to me. At what cost would I let them go?

Well, if I am unable to make new memories, I’m dead or in a coma and if I’ll never make new memories, I’m never coming out of the coma. I’ve never heard about someone coming out of a coma and truly remembering what it was like to be in a coma. Depending on what your belief is about the afterlife, those memories of self wouldn’t be important.

If the essence of your soul returns to the greater soul of God, “self” is nonexistent. If you remain intact and reside in Heaven in God’s World, with Him but not “part of" Him, it becomes a different philosophical question about whether or not Heaven is indeed perfect. What I mean is I’d feel pretty bad as the only angel in Heaven who wasn’t able to talk about their people at the Coffee Cloud. If keeping my memories is part of Heaven’s perfection and I gave them up, I made a BAD deal with the wrong dealer! If I’m reincarnated, I won’t remember anyway, since I don’t now. And if I just die, end of story, well, that’s the end of the story. Point being that no matter what, my memories aren’t important after death, or I’ll get them back anyway, there’s no point in dying to hold on to them.

Of course, there are two very similar alternatives to dead or in a coma to having no memories and would give you at least minor ability to make new ones. I could have amnesia or dementia/Alzheimer's. With dementia or Alzheimer’s the memories slowly fade away, the most recent ones first. I’ve watched relatives mentally dwindle away. After seeing it with my great-grandmother, Grandma started to learn new things and exercise her mind. She was almost 80 when she learned how to use the computer, she quilted and did word puzzles every day. She was bound and determined not to be like her mother. Still her memory started to fade just before her death.

I remember the day that I went to visit Mums and she had no idea who I was. I’d always been so close to my great grandmother. It was a pleasant visit. She thought I was a nice stranger and invited me to visit again if I wanted. I was crying so hard when I got home it’s a wonder I drove the two miles safely. Grandma was a little more prepared a year later when Mums giggled and told her she was way too old to be her daughter, “Wonda is just a little girl.” There were no memories. She didn’t remember our Tuesday coffees, me sleeping in the same room she did for a year, not even how she felt the day I was born. She didn’t remember being at Mom’s wedding or the wonderful stories from her granddaughter’s childhood and she didn’t remember her pride in Grandma’s promotion to management or how proud she was of her raising a daughter alone until Papa returned from the war. True she didn’t remember the bad things either, no memories of deaths, war, the Great Depression when she was a young mother. She wasn’t even really aware anymore by 9-11. And she seemed happy enough, pleasantly unaware.  But she unwillingly hurt the people she loved.  I couldn't stand to voluntarily be in that position.

Ah but, the diseases that rob us of our memories in advanced years don’t really give an opportunity to create new ones either, not ones we'll remember. So, I look at amnesia from some mental or physical trauma, as really the only way one can lose all memories and still create new ones. It’s a fascinating thought. How do you lose all your memories and retain everything that’s developed in you as a result of those memories? As you recuperate, wouldn't you start to get those memories back and isn’t that cheating if you made the choice to give them up?

After deep consideration, I think I’d give up my memories for amnesia, but with the clause that if they start to come back, I’m not in default of the agreement and as long as I can keep my scrapbooks.

You can join in on Tell Me Tuesday; you don’t have to write a term paper, I tend to get carried away sometimes. It’s a fun meme and it really gives you a great chance to look inside yourself or share your thoughts on how you’d like things to be.



Joy@aVintageGreen said...

Nani you sure deal with the tough questions. Brave.

Edna B said...

This was a real tough question, but I think the final decision was the right one. If we can't make new memory today or tomorrow, what's to live for? I would not want to give up ny yesterday memories, but I do want my tomorrow memories. Hmmm. Food for thought. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

Coloradolady said...

Nani, you wrote this and touched on so many things I did not. Very insightful. I had to just read the question and not say so much of "well...what if...." That is what is hard for me to do....then sometimes am a little surprised by the answer...that is the whole point for me....learning a little as I go that I might not have thought about.

I don't know if you read the comment I left for Linda.....but geesh...someone does not like this meme at all.....made me unhappy for a bit then I just shrugged and moved on!! Have a great week!!!