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Comparing Memories

Tomorrow, my mom is moving to a new town and into a much smaller house.  She is very excited, but at the same time I see a hint of sadness in her eyes.  It has taken a long time to pack as every item she picks up is filled with history and she wants to tell us the story before it goes into a box.

What I am discovering is that we remember past events very differently.  She will say, “Remember when…?” and tell a story.  I do remember most of them, but the details are different for me.  It makes me wonder which version of the story is right.  My mom has trouble with short-term memory, but her long-term is still firmly in place.  Am I the one who has the facts mixed up?  Or is it just that we are remembering from different perspectives that makes the stories so different?  How many fond memories do I have that are not true memories, but a combination of fact and fiction?

Memories dancing

Lovely music laced with lies

My soul is exposed


14 thoughts on “Comparing Memories

  1. “Dirty in there”
    When my youngest was just learning to talk, she peered in through the closed door of my mother’s microwave which was positioned on a shelf in a cupboard space below worktop level and to my mum’s horror apparently announced to the whole kitchen that my mother’s microwave needed cleaning.
    In reality, still learning to talk and not yet able to pronounce every letter, “Dirty” is how she said her name and looking into the door of the microwave her reflection had looked back at her, so indeed, “Dirty” was in there.
    Years later when my daughter was almost five and about to start school, we put our microwave in a similar position and my mother is convinced ours was the “Dirty” microwave and not hers.
    We’re both convinced we’re right, but being so seldom so sure of anything I remember , I’m certain that at the age of almost five my daughter would have been able to have pronounced her name, and many other words besides, when our microwave was on the low shelf. 🙂

  2. I was just talking about this very thing with my mother and brother, how the three of us remember the same event differently. Our memories are our memories, and whether or not they are “factual” they are real to us. I guess it’s not really surprising that we’d have different memories……we have different brains :).

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