Memories are like shoeboxes in that they have a purpose, but sometimes that purpose changes over time. When we started the family history project many years ago now (4 in fact) we scanned two shoeboxes full of pictures. Not shoes as the name of the box implies, but pictures. 100’s of pictures from a shoebox. Memories are like that. They change over time. In part because of the reality of what we are doing and what we’ve done nuances what we remember. In part because time is a great equalizer.
Sometimes rude dissipates over time Sometimes sad memories that are hard to take, hard to recall and lose steam over time. The change from sad and methanol to wistful and wishful. The images today are of children that are now adults, of a moment that happened many years ago. Of a family that was different and yet the same. We were then, the five musketeers. We even stayed in one hotel room when we traveled. All of us, in various states of sleep location (couches, rollaway and so on).
Memories are things you have to be careful with. They do not transfer from people unless they are talked about, typed or recorded. A month before my grandfather died, my wife and I recorded him telling the many stories that I remembered from my childhood. We missed that opportunity with my father, but we did manage to capture the thoughts of my wife’s mother. Those are memories that include the actual talking not just the memory of someone sharing.
Memories are the most fragile thing ever. They are also the most resilient thing ever. Share them; they won’t break. If you don’t share them, they will shatter.