Since I mentioned it the other night I figured I’d take it upon myself to find a writing prompt and have some fun.
Today is the 224th day of the Postaday 2012 “event”. Tonight’s question is this.
If you could erase a memory, would you?
This is interesting. It plays upon the most basic fears of our human existence — our vulnerability, our shame at our sinfulness, and our pride. There are some memories I should want to erase. Take for instance my very first conscious memory. I woke up in a burning house. There was screaming. My older sister, Susan, was frantically gathering as many of us as she could to get out of the house. Ultimately she threw me from the second floor porch to the snow covered, rocky ground below. It was winter. It was cold. I was four. The impact left hundreds, if not thousands of micro-fractures in my vertebrae which precipitated a spinal fusion when I was 23. I am 34 now and, although I’ve had ten great years without a problem, I’ve lived the past year in varying degrees of pain because of that fusion.
It should be obvious why I would want to erase that memory until you consider this. I am alive. My twin sister and two of my brothers are not. My memory of that night is a memory of someone who loved me enough to do something like that. When I think that she was only 21 years-old herself it is even more powerful. When I think about how she almost died saving us… I cannot erase this one. I have lived with it so long it is a part of me. And yes, I think of it often. I am comfortable with it. Without this memory, little else makes sense. Without it, the aftermath of that instant in time can’t exist. And the memories of those days that followed are just as powerful. I remember the goodness of people who showed their love and support. In particular I remember that the nuns from the parish convent brought over some things they thought we’d need. Remember, nuns take a vow of poverty, so what they gave came from the community. I remember a blue, woolen blanket, simple, the edges were rough. On the corner was stitched a tag that read “Sr. Alice Mary”. God bless you, Sr. Alice, that was the warmest blanket I ever remember.
And so in a bid to lighten the mood and reaffirm your belief in life and goodness and rainbows I will provide one example of a memory I would erase. Two words: Christina Aguilera. Yeah, let’s erase those memories. “I’m a genie in a bottle…” Poof! Gone.
Life is good.