Last night I dreamed about a girl that I used to know in grade ten. I didn’t know her well, we didn’t hang out together. She was just someone who was in a couple of my classes. I have not thought of her or seen her since 1979 and yet, for some reason, I dreamed of her last night. In my dream she was in distress. I actually woke up and worried about a person that I barely knew over thirty years ago. Where does that come from? This person was a distant memory and somehow, for some reason, that memory bubbled to the surface.
I’ve written before about how I worry about having a bad memory. I worry that I will succumb to Alzheimer’s disease like my grandmother did. This fear was re-ignited the other day as I frantically tore my bathroom apart searching for a diamond stud earring that was innocently sitting in my earlobe already. Was there too much on my mind while I attempted to do four things at once, or am I losing it?
I would hate to lose my memory because I have so many wonderful ones. I also have this clever built-in feature where bad memories fade away quickly for me. Last year I had an argument with my mother that upset me badly for a few months. I went over and over the argument in my head trying to analyze every word exchanged. I talked it out with my husband until we were both exhausted. Then I put it out of my mind. If I had to explain any of that argument now I’d be stumped. I have completely buried the memory and I could not tell you what it was about to save my life. (If anyone reading this remembers please don’t remind me…thank you)
Good memories remain fresh for a life time however. (So far at least.) I remember sitting in the apple tree in my grandparent’s yard looking up at the clouds and feeling completely content and happy. I was four. Twenty one years ago I remember holding my new born son on my chest and realizing how overwhelming my love for him was.
Last weekend I was running around the house in a panic. I was expecting company and I was late in preparing everything. I stubbed my toe. It was bleeding but I had too much to do to worry about it. My husband made me stop for a moment. He began to very gently put a band-aid around my wounded toe. I suddenly felt like I was watching the scene from outside of my own body. I felt such love and appreciation for my man that I could have burst. That is a memory that will stay fresh with me forever.
Perhaps the memory sifter in our brain is made of love and happiness. Dreams? Well who can really explain where those come from.