Posted by: morrowsl | July 21, 2010

Hurricane of love…

I had a thought of putting together a list of all the people I’ve lost in recent years.  But the idea is almost as depressing as knowing there are so many that I loved who are now beyond my reach.  Slowly, so very slowly, their faces are fading and I can no longer hear some of their voices.  But I know that my memory won’t lose them completely, at least as long as my memory is still functioning; I oftentimes can hear my father’s voice in my ear and he has been gone for 14 years now.

I suppose that our memories fade to help lessen the burden of loss.  Or maybe so many new things happen that there simply isn’t enough room in there to remember it all so, like the hallway closet full of coats, we box up what we haven’t used in a while and send them on.  Only the coats will be used by others.  The memories go…  where?

As a young girl working in nursing homes, I used to marvel at the memories of the elderly people in my care.  Most were too fragile to withstand much stimulation, but some were still very sharp and clear and made for great fun in a place of greater sadness.  I loved to sit at lunchtime and listen to a certain few who could recall moments in time from their earliest days.  It was like watching old black and white films with narration instead of dialogue.  I could see the dusty bare feet and imagine the feel of hot sun or cool water or hear the sounds of an oncoming thunderstorm.  I knew the slap of a screen door, the color of a field of cotton, the bone-cold damp of a long walk home in snow, the fresh air smell of a dress dried on a clothesline.

So, maybe that’s what happens to the boxes of our memories.  We put them up for safe-keeping against a day when we can no longer be where we want or when we want.  Then, with an eager face sitting close by or maybe in an empty room all alone, we open our treasure-trove of our lives and host an open house for those who are no more.

Maybe no.  But, better still, maybe so.  It seems a waste to leave the boxes closed.


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