The older I get, the more memories I have, and they’ve got to go someplace. If you think of your brain as a computer’s memory, we all know that occasionally we need a defrag and a disk cleanup. The files we don’t access every day are the files that usually get deleted.
So we all have systems, conscious or not, or depositing memories in other storage drives. For instance, I write in a daily journal. If something’s bothering me, I write a lot. I can also find a lot of my memories in my books–no, none of my novels are strictly autobiographical, but sometimes my characters just happen to stumble on a painful or pleasant experience that comes straight from my memory disk.
Sometimes my memories are left with the Lord. I love Psalm 56:8:
You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in
You have recorded each one in your book.
I don’t have to keep track of my tears or sorrows; God is doing that for me!
By far my favorite place to deposit memories, however, is in the memory banks of friends. My dear pal Nancy Rue and I don’t see each other often, but when we do have a chance to catch up, it’s like we’ve never been apart. We tell each other lots of personal stories, and I’m always amazed at what Nancy remembers.
The other day she said, “I always love that thing Tyler told you when he was little.”
I had no clue what she meant. It’s been years since my son was little, and I couldn’t remember sharing any funny things. “Please,” I asked her, “remind me.”
And then Nancy retold my story . . . and reminded me of a precious thing my son once said. I’d been so caught up in his adolescent trials that I needed to remember the precious things.
When Tyler was smaller–about six or seven, maybe–he was testing me, trying to get my attention, trying to come up with the worst possible thing he could imagine. I don’t remember what he wanted me to do, but he said something like, “If you don’t do it, I’m gonna . . . I’m gonna . . . I’m gonna fall down and worship idols!”
ROFLOL! Okay, idolatry’s not funny, but the child’s mindset is. Reminds me of when I was a kid and couldn’t figure out how we “gave money to God” when we put it in the offering plate. I mean, how did it get up to God? So when the preacher spoke on the Old Testament burnt offerings, I figured that after church, the deacons took all the money out back and burned it. The smoke went to heaven, and everybody was happy.
And yes, that memory has just been deposited in my WIP. For safekeeping.