At seventy years of age, I have a veritable Library of Congress-size collection of memories to draw on. I can remember episodes of my life from the point my memory banks became operational to now. My memory provides comedies, dramas, documentaries, and a plethora of mental theatrical productions that Hollywood can in no way match for entertainment value. That old saying about seeing your life flash before your eyes when you’re about to experience a tragic accident couldn’t possibly be true. How in God’s name could all that I’ve experienced be flashed in a few seconds.
The year 2020 put a damper on so many memory-generating opportunities for people worldwide. Think of the number of weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries of all kinds, events of countless varieties we look forward to in the normal world, a world of predictability. Our chances to experience many of the fun things were removed from the menu and replaced with the darkest of experiences one couldn’t imagine before the pandemic came upon us.
The pandemic has in just one year changed things for the worse for so many people. It has caused us to access memories of events that happened not so long ago. For example, my family had one of the best family reunions in the summer of 2019. I blogged about it Familial – oldblessedwordpresscom. Many of us at that event, gathered for a Christmas celebration in Sierra Vista, Arizona at the end of 2019. My cousin Hansel lives in Sierra Vista. He and his wife Martha retired from California to Sierra Vista. They had been talking up the virtues of Sierra Vista for quite some time. It seemed like the perfect location to spend Christmas away from home. If you’ve been following my blogs, you know that Hansel and Martha were part of the gang of five family members who made the trip to Ghana, West Africa this past Christmas holiday season…another great memory-generating event.
Unfortunately, events that birth memories aren’t always joyful and pleasant to draw on at some point in the future. Scenes of bodies covered in temporary morgues, where the Covid-19 pandemic has taken its toll, are memories I would rather not draw on; however, they are in my memory banks and they will flash images on the screens within my head whether I wish to see them or not. The death of some of my own family members from the attack of Covid-19 on their frail bodies reminds me that all of us are probably in the crosshairs of this horrendous virus. What’s that old phrase? But by the grace of God go I. That phrase was quite personal a few weeks ago. Both Chris and I contracted Covid-19, but we’re now doing fine and I’m happy to report we don’t seem to have any long-lasting effects so many victims experience.
Memories. They contribute enormously to our lives. They allow us to rewind images in our minds, to review the building blocks of our character, to see much of what has made us what we are right now. A few days ago, the media started to report that the United States had reached a dark milestone. Five hundred thousand people had succumbed to Covid-19; 500,000 of our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and other family members who have ceased to contribute to the precious memories of far too many of us. Considering all this darkness, I’m hopeful that you are, at the least, having those micro experiences that are loaded with joy. I am. When I see the faces of my grandkids; realize that Chris and I still here; or have a brief phone conversation with one of my siblings; my memory banks are charged with fun stuff. Think often about the good stuff that has happened!
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.