In general I have a terrible memory. Like my mom used to always say, "If it isn't on the calendar then it doesn't happen." I have to write things down, blog, keep a journal in order for me to remember important events in my life. However, I find that when a memory is shared with someone I love sometimes it attaches itself to something else, like an object, smell, song, etc. and is vividly remembered later. Let me share some examples.
The other day I wore a BYU hat that belonged to my brother Grant. A friend of my, noticing my hat, said, "Wow, that is old school." Almost instantly memories of my brother cheering for BYU in the Lavell Edwards Stadium flooded my mind. It's almost as if the memory of my brother and BYU games are imprinted on that hat.
Years ago a boyfriend of mine, at the time, asked me what my favorite smell was (up to that moment I don't think I had ever been asked that question before) and so I thought about it for a while. I told him I loved the smell of Lemon Trees in San Diego. A while later he went to CA for a photography shoot and when he returned he gave me a plate (in the shape of a green leaf) that had lemons hand-picked from a Lemon Tree. Whenever I smell lemons I think of that loving gesture.
I love trains! I think I have always loved them. One time my sister and I drove out to Fort Bridger, WY to visit some friends. While we were there we rode horses and then when it got dark we loaded up in a truck and drove to the middle of nowhere. We got out of the truck and were herded into this cave-like place to wait. We were instructed to hold onto something sturdy. So I did and all of a sudden I heard the loudest sounds rushing over me and everything was shaking, like an earthquake. Then there were sparks flying around me and it was wicked awesome. Before I could wrap my head around what had just happened the train was rushing away. We had been sitting underneath the rail road tracks. Whenever I see a train I think of that exhilarating moment.
Sometimes a shared memory can transform an ordinary experience or place into something magical. There is a movie theater near my house that my roommates and I go to often. One day I went there to watch a movie with my boyfriend at the time. The movie was good—though I don't remember much about it but afterwards we were holding hands, laughing, and just talking with each other. We stood there talking and laughing in the parking lot for ages and then I sat on the trunk of my car and we kissed, like we were 2 teenagers, shamelessly while cars honked their horns and people whistled. I can't help but smile whenever I am in that movie theater parking lot.
I'm not a huge ice cream or chocolate fan but when I was living in Jerusalem for my study abroad I was introduced to this ice cream, Carmel, chocolate dream on a stick called, Magnum Bars. I fell in love and wanted to know what the secret ingredient was that made it taste like a piece of heaven. Well they have now come to the states and when I see them through the window of the freezer section at the store I can't help but connect them to Jerusalem and all my incredible memories there.
My mom's dad died when I was 8 years old but I loved him more than my little body could handle. I don't remember hardly anything about him but I think of him whenever I get the urge to pour water on someone. Whenever I was at his house he would fill a tall glass of water and drink it all except for a little bit in the bottom of his glass. Then, when I would least expect it, he would sneak up and pour it on my head. I am sure he had no idea what those moments/memories would hold for me.
There are so many more to share and write down but you get the idea. Sometimes when we share moments, even the simplest things, with those we love traces of those memories are captured in ordinary objects or moments in time where your heart takes a picture. No longer is a lemon just a lemon or an ice cream bar just a treat. They are forever changed and harbor some of our most cherished memories.
Today I am grateful for the ordinary things, places, smells, people, etc. that hold traces of priceless memories!