Today, I attended a relative’s funeral. This will be the ninth family funeral in three years for me. Seems odd, doesn’t it? It does to me. Some were to be expected. Some not. Even before this funeral, I had been giving this life/death thing a lot of thought. I have been accused of letting my head wander places that most heads would not and, of course, it seems to have wandered that way again. The joy in me doesn’t dwell too long on life ending because I feel certain that there is a life of eternal bliss that will follow this. I rejoice for those who go before me. I will admit also, that I struggle in this world and often times feel I have no place here which leaves me daydreaming about what is to come. I suffer from insomnia so I look forward to one day taking a very long nap. And I can’t eat many foods that most people enjoy, so I look forward to an eternal mountain of cookies when I enter heaven too. I told ya. My brain gets on the wrong train sometimes.
So where did it wander to this time? Memory Bank. Making deposits.
While we live, we possess an unbelievably complicated gift of a memory bank. We each possess one and it is full up. Both of my parents suffer/ed from forms of dementia. I am keenly aware of the gift of our memory bank. And what a gift it is. As I take my daily stroll through the woods, I can pluck out a memory from yesterday, or 45 years ago. I can ruminate on it for a fleeting second or really dig in. Maybe even end up on a couch over it. In an office. With someone listening intently about my precious memory. Which I have many times. Memories are not all good. Each one makes up who I am. Good or bad. Happy or sad.
But you know what? My memory is mine. It is very personal. Very intimate. I own it. Our memory banks cannot go bankrupt(except with the dreaded disease) . There are thousands, probably millions of them at my disposal. We can bask in our memories. When you think about it (as deeply as I tend to think) it is incredible that we are blessed with such a rich deposit of data that can be flashed before our eyes in the second of an adrenaline rush. Or an aroma. For me, a song will send me back to a place that I can literally smell and feel. Sometimes the stirring of a memory can make my heart hurt. Just from the yearn for the long-lost time.
Life is really amazing to me and I like looking deep into it because it’s all I’ve got. And what a precious, wonderful, hard life it is. I have very special memories about each of those relatives I have lost recently. I can bring them around at will. That is one heck of a good idea.