Relationships – The Power of Remembering
Recalling days of sadness, memories haunt me. Recalling days of happiness, I haunt my memories. ~Robert Brault
“We live because we remember…memories are precious, treasure them” is my blog’s tagline and I wouldn’t survive a day if I didn’t believe in and live by it. Recalling past instances enhances the present in myriad ways; it sustains me and enriches my life. I am an extremely emotional person who finds it difficult to function without this link to the past; I need these precious reminders to go on.
Remembrance is such a complex word and a life-saver at trying times. The mental images play in our minds like a movie reel on a spool in a dimly lit theater. Whenever an incident from the past comes to mind, I relive it again, some incidents remind me of my grave loss and heartbreak while others fill my heart with unadulterated joy.
There are so many moments in a day but we don’t file them all away for later recall, only the most important ones get filtered and stored. Sometimes a few traumatic ones make the cut, they creep into our hearts and minds, clawing their way in like determined tarantulas and they wait, poised to sting at an opportune moment.
I remember baking my first cake with my mom at her friend’s place as we didn’t have an oven at our house. I had been 9 or 10 years old back then in the early seventies. It was a small box oven which looked like a toy and could hold a small cake tin in, we had baked a cake with six eggs. The sifting of the flour and the baking powder, beating of the eggs , adding the butter and sugar, beating the mix with a whisk manually, we didn’t have the electric beater either.
I particularly remember the capful of Old Monk rum we used to add to the cake batter to give it that extra zing. The heavenly smell of our first freshly baked cake has stayed with me and I just have to close my eyes to go back to those uncomplicated, magical days. My mother was the proudest when the cake tin was pulled out of the oven and it revealed a cake of fairly respectable height.
My mother hasn’t forgotten how to bake a cake but she sometimes doesn’t remember all the ingredients, missing out a few in the process. She recounts funny incidents making us laugh heartily with her but she repeats them again after a while, forgetting that she had already shared the same with us a couple of hours earlier. It kills me to see her uncertainty and confusion. However, the only consolation is her lack of awareness of this condition.
Relationships: The Fear of Forgetting
I fear forgetting basic things like reading or writing; the mere thought of losing my memories is terrifying. What if one day I wake up and don’t recognize my family members, forget their names and how much I love them? How will I ever hold my Dad’s favorite shirt in my hands and not remember his aftershave’s smell? I won’t hear his affectionate voice telling me he loved me and was proud of me? What if I celebrate my birthday and forget it is his death anniversary on the same day as well.
I want to hold on to the beautiful memories of my life, times spent with my friends and family. Going around the holy fire seven times, while repeating the mantras the priest was chanting, without knowing what was being promised.
Hearing my daughter’s gusty cries and seeing her protesting the vacuum delivery by shadow punching the doctor responsible for her discomfort.
My Son’s angelic face – he was the only child who had smiled at birth, that’s what the nurses had told me then.
Though I hope I never lose my ability to remember but in case I do – just know that I want to remember but can’t.
Sulekha Rawat, along with Kriti Mukherjee, brings east and west insights into Chatty Divas, their blog on ‘Lassi with Lavina’
Check out Sulekha and Kriti’s site: www.socialpotpourri.com