You’re making memories. Everyday. It’s what you do. Intentionally or not. Whether today is a special occasion or just another day at work.
When we’re young, if all goes as it should, our memories are colored bright by hope and unfettered dreams. As we age our snapshots of days past grow gritty shaded by the dramas of life. Love. Loss. Fear. And still, hope for the future.
But what happens when your memories are lost? Alzheimer’s, amnesia and traumatic accidents can take them.
And in a way, natural disasters can too.
Yesterday, the arrival of Hurricane Isaac on the Gulf Coast, marked the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Karina. A storm which made memories and took them as well. A storm that transformed lives.
I have vivid memories of sitting on the back steps of my grandmother’s meager home where she had raised six children of her own, and then some. I can still smell the pungent aroma wafting from the shrimp factories and hear the sea gulls begging for handouts two block south on the water.
On those steps, with a blushing complexion and squinted eyes I asked my grandmother where babies came from. Her plump cheeks rounded and her wise eyes grew conspiratorial as she leaned in close. On that hard concrete stoop she told me, through the years, about the birds and the bees (literally), the cycle of life and death, and most importantly to a pre-teen, what the term PMS meant.
I cling to those memories so tightly because those steps are gone, along with the modest house that was my second home. I can’t take my children to those steps and show them where I used to sit with my grandmother and have the “big” discussions.
But I can sit on my own steps with them and make new memories.
To all the people of the Gulf Coast, to my family and friends back home, to everyone stay safe while weathering the storms of life. Cling to your memories. And don’t forget to make new ones!