Over the past week and a half we’ve talked a lot about memories, and this month we’ve talked about family a lot too. When I think about family there are two things that most often come to mind: holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Halloween, and summer, because that’s when we spend the most time with our families. As we’re approaching another summer and wrapping up this month’s discussion on family I thought we should talk about the value of those memories.
First though let’s address the obvious: not all memories are good. I’ve got some memories of some Christmases with illnesses (it’s no fun spending holidays alone with a bucket), and not all family is awesome. Every family has issues, some more than others, since no one is perfect and everyone has their moments of failure and issues. So if that’s the norm rather than the occasional, you’ve got lots of catching up to do to the rest of us who do have good memories. As we’ve said before, if that’s you make your own family; a family of the heart not the blood.
Memories really are gifts though, with my grandmother sinking into worse Alzheimers and not able to be part of our lives in the way we would like, all that is left are the memories. It helps to remember the special times we had as a family years ago and the special place she had in my life when the days are not so good with her health.
But as much as memories are of the past, they’re also a big part of the future. Those memories have encouraged me to spend more time with family and friends, to talk about the past and to add traditions like baking cookies, hanging stockings, visiting the beach and being there for grandchildren if I ever have any. Memories are what you make of them, what do you make of your memories?
“My first outdoor cooking memories are full of erratic British summers, Dad swearing at a barbecue that he couldn’t put together, and eventually eating charred sausages, feeling brilliant.” Jamie Oliver