It amazes me how the human mind can become so disjointed over time. Some memories stick with us like glue and others fade away. Still others may be remembered quite differently from someone else who was there.
I have some memories from childhood, but they are mainly cracked pieces of a whole. I attribute my memory lapses to the fact that I have been under anesthesia over 40 times now. Sometimes the picture fades for any number of reasons.
I have had so many surgical procedures done I would have to ask my parents where in the timeline these two occurred, but I have a couple early hospital memories. I remember being discharged from Station 55 and I was dressed in my favorite jeans, my cowboy boots and a Northstars shirt, not like a jersey, but one of those 80’s style ones with the logo and the green sleeves. Something like this, only for males:
I remember singing to the babies in the hospital. I remember singing Rock-A-Bye Baby (which I now believe to be a terrible, horrible song). A nurse came in the room and said something along the lines of, “why aren’t you asleep? You need to get to sleep.” And I responded with, “I would get to sleep if I could get these darn babies to sleep!”
I also have many memories of time on the tractor with my dad. I remember it was around 1984, my dad and I were spreading manure on the field behind the yard. He was pumping the liquid into the tank and said, “you need to let me know when the red arrow gets to the ‘F’ because that means it’s full.” I was wearing jeans, a tee shirt, not sure which one, but I had on my Pac-Man mesh farmers hat. It was just like this one, only yellow:
And Pac-Man Fever and Abracadabra were both on the radio that day. I remember watching the tank full and I yelled out ‘It’s Full!!’, only it wasn’t. I don’t know why that memory sticks with me. I also remember along that same time driving through Sacred Heart, Minnesota on a different tractor with my dad and he was getting frustrated because I could not figure out how to spell the word, ‘Yellow’. Seems like yellow had a dominance of my memories from that year.
I could go on and on for days about little snapshot memories of times in the hospital or the tractors with my dad as a kid. But, what I most remember is being happy, being content. I was often told my happiness was infectious. Somewhere as an adult the pain of loss and the responsibilities of adulthood have taken over and from time to time I can lose that childlike wonder and joy. I think all adults have been there at one time or another. I think we all lose our memories too. They fade away with time. Sure, some files remain locked in the file cabinets of our minds, but it’s never the whole picture again.
Like I said, I could go on and on about memories from the last 39-years, but they will never be the full picture of who I am now and where I am trying to go. In order to see that, you’ll have to jump on board with me now. One of my favorite lines in life comes from The Polar Express, ‘One thing about trains, it doesn’t matter where they’re goin’. What matters is deciding to get on.’.
Not a single one of us knows where our journey will lead today. Some may not be here to see tomorrow. All of those things are based on the decisions we make today, but we can’t let the journey stop by deciding today to not get involved. We must wake up, take our memories with us as long as we can and journey forward. Today could change our entire destination.