Thursday, December 11, 2008


What are Memories?

All living creatures on this planet have one thing in common. This familiar quality consists of thoughts and particular ideas from the past. This feature allows us to relive the past. These are memories. Memories are not merely moments of your life, but they are also moments which have made you into the person you are today. Without these precious memories, your identity would not exist.

Memories are moments from our past. These moments may or may not hold significance to us. “We do not remember days; we remember moments.” This statement by Cesare Pavese from, “The Burning Brand’, holds much truth. We are meant to remember moments because our brains cannot hold all that information. It’s great that we are able to look back, but sadly the truth is that these memories are not the exact replica of the past. When I was about five years old I had the unfortunate pleasure of fracturing my left arm. My cousins and I were on the floor sitting in a circle, minding our own business after a tiring game of ‘ring around the rosy’. The boys thought it’d be fun to mock us girls, so they got into the middle of the circle and started ringing around the rosy. Tragically when they all ‘fell down’, they fell on me. I learned a very valuable lesson that day: I should always, I repeat ALWAYS, keep distance from my rambunctious cousins! That is pretty much all I remember about that horrific incident.

As I become older and wiser, I’ve realized the importance of these memories. I feel that our memories help us stay in touch with our roots. Memories are what make us, memories are what break us. They show you what kind of person you were and what kind of person you are now. I was like a fall leaf, something shy and quiet. Though it’s that memory which made me realize fall leaves will eventually rustle very loudly in the wind.

What would happen if we didn’t have any memories? As human beings would we be able to function as a society? We’d have no idea where we came from or where we are headed. We would have to rely on our instincts! Is this how people with memory loss feel? To look back and see nothing but blurs, it all sounds very tragic. When I went to India three years ago, half the time there was taken up by visiting people. I’m pretty sure we went to every house in that village. That day, my mom and I had one more house left to visit. We knocked on the door. No answer. We knocked again. No answer. We knocked the third time, and upon hearing the silence we realized no one was there. As we walked off the porch, a very old woman came out behind us. Immediately after seeing her, my mother was in tears. She went up to the old woman and hugged her numerous times. The hugs were not reciprocated. We didn’t end up going inside, just said our goodbye’s from the porch. Later, I found out from my mom that the old woman used to be like a second mother to her. Sadly, she was suffering from Alzheimer's disease. She didn’t remember my mom at all. More importantly she didn’t remember who she was. She couldn’t identify herself. Our identities rely on our memories, our memories complete us.

These memories are sometimes forgotten. These memories are mostly remembered. These memories teach us lessons. These memories last us a lifetime. These memories we will take to our grave.