We’d like for you to write about your first memory. Reach way back into your mind, try to find that first, earliest memory, and share it with us through your words. Don’t just tell us what you remember, show us, make us feel what you felt, take us with you back to that first clear (or hazy) memory of your past.
When this prompt came up last week, I cringed; memories, for me, especially early ones, aren’t terribly pleasant. Why is it that good memories are sometimes forgotten but bad ones tend to linger way too long?
It’s okay, not playing the martyr here, not at all. I honestly cannot offer a fitting response this prompt-time around but.. I still wanted to participate, in some way.
Various posts on my blog have delved into my rough childhood and that’s because, at the point when I wrote them, I felt the need to put it out there, especially after having private discussions with several people. Child abuse survivors often reach out to let others know they are not alone. For now, I’ll just leave those memories slink off into some corner where they will hide, and wait, always reminding me that they aren’t far away.
How about someone else’s memories, or lack thereof? Can I bend the rules…please?
For most of her life, my late mother had an uncanny ability to deliberately erase any memory which made her..uncomfortable. Dementia crept in and relieved her of that job along with the ability to think – the very brain functions that shaped the person she once was. Dealing with this as her daughter and caregiver was understandably frustrating. All I can compare it to is when people speak very loudly to someone who doesn’t speak English, hoping they can make themselves understood.
Being in the company of someone with memory loss, 24/7, finds you always asking questions, the same ones, only to be met with a blank stare. There is so much you need to know, things you neglected to ask at a time when there might have been a more cognizant response. Sadly, those answers are never what you need to hear but you keep asking. There is always a chance that some spark of remembering will come out of nowhere.
I waited for that opportunity to grab just one fleeting recollection. That happened shortly before my mother died but, sadly, I waited too long. Seconds too long. I missed that last chance to recover a tiny bit of what Dementia had stolen; a joy, sorrow or some motherly recognition. Her memory quickly flew away and out of sight even though I prodded for its return by asking mother to try hard to remember.
Her answer to me was…“Remember?…Why?”