With the celebration of our 47th Wedding Anniversary this past Monday and Memorial Day coming up this coming Monday I’ve been thinking about The Gift of Memory. Most of the time we take our memory for granted, but when we are aware of loved ones and friends who are losing their memory we realize how important it is.
Often something reminds me of my past and as I revisit memories of people, places, and periods of time gone by I become somewhat somber. I don’t think it’s because they are unpleasant memories, but because those memories are reminders of things that were so meaningful and enjoyable.
I cannot remember when it was said or who said it, but I recall hearing a speaker (I think it was a preacher) say, “We tend to remember what we should forget and forget what we should remember.” I don’t know how true it is, but there are some things we’d like to forget if we could, but hopefully many more that we do remember. Alan Jackson’s song Precious Memories reminds us that all of us have some memories that we love to revisit.
The saying “take a walk down memory lane” makes sense to me. Occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, holidays, and deaths invite us to take that walk. A stroll down memory lane usually means to remember pleasant things, rather than bad memories.
When it comes to looking back, most of the time I am a real softie. And like many people, in addition to the occasions mentioned above, hearing old songs takes me back to earlier times in my life.
Memory and memories are to most of us gifts. We can’t return to the past and shouldn’t live in the past, but we can remember the past. We can enjoy our memories and sometimes even learn from them.
As we come to Memorial Day this Monday let’s remember that memory is a gift. Let’s also be reminded that Memorial Day began as a day to honor men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
Memorial Day, however, is not the only day on which we remember. While we do remember both the good and the bad in our past, perhaps this is a good day to focus on the good in our past and express gratitude to God and others for our precious memories.
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