Select Memories

Posted by Sharon

Two of my three children visited over the holidays. Since it is winter, much time was spent indoors and much of that time was spent visiting – and remembering. Shayne and Cindy reminisced a bit about our life in Crooked River, Saskatchewan when it was just the four of us – Shayne, Cindy, Lana and I. How different one person’s memories might be than another’s – even within the same family! Here are some examples:
  • I remembered my son and daughter doing dishes but didn’t remember that Shayne never washed! (Cindy remembered that…)
  • I remember them doing dishes but didn’t remember they eventually worked out another arrangement – Shayne did outside chores and Cindy did dishes!
  • I remember preparing nutritious meals, baking bread and cookies; Cindy remembers me making root beer!
  • I remember taking all the kids to the forest to get the Christmas tree every year with only an axe and a dull saw. It was always at least -25 and we froze our hands and feet. They remember how much fun it was!
  • I remember not having any money to send with them when they went to sports events; they remember me keeping them involved in activities.
  • I remember that I worried I did not spend enough time with them; they remember me taking them on overnight camping trips to the lake.
It’s sometimes the little things that are most important…

On the other hand, we all remember:
  • When mom decided Shayne and Cindy should start their own colts (both of them got bucked off!)
  • Building the wagon wheel fence (“It doesn’t have to be perfect!” Shayne said.)

Not all memories of that time are not pleasant ones for me but thank goodness my daughter remembers (now that she is grown up and recognizes it) that I did not use them as “sounding boards” for complaints about their father after we separated. I can’t say it was a conscious decision – I just didn’t see what good would come of it – and I didn’t think they noticed, but how nice that they did and have that memory.

Random memories like this are not just within families. Haven’t you noticed that, once in a while (or oftener if you are lucky!) someone does something for you, or says something to you, that absolutely makes your day? That’s happened to me . . . and it makes a permanent memory, a very good one, of that person. (The reverse is also true, I’m afraid – a negative remark or action leaves a permanent impression.

It’s nice to find out that once in a while I’m on the “giving” end too. I just got an email from a lady who remembers me helping her with her horse at a horse show. I didn’t remember her or the incident – and there lies the beauty of it because if I don’t remember then it means I “helped” not for praise but because it was the right thing to do. I hope I can continue to be that person in 2012.