Sunday, July 31, 2011

Other People Are Part of Our Memories

On the 4th of July this year we sat outside a stadium watching fireworks. There were tons of people with chairs and blankets. Every time a firework would go off, someone’s car alarm would also go off. It got to the point that we would all expect to hear the alarm after the deep, resonating ‘boom.’ People started to laugh – including me, until at one point I thought, “Why don’t they just leave their car unlocked since it’s so obviously close to them?” Regardless, overall, it was a funny experience. One that my kids and I will probably always recall when speaking of Fourth of July Fireworks.

I also remember one night with my husband when we were dating. We wanted some alone time on a bench by the water and just at that time, a man and woman decided to take up residence near us. They seemed to stay forever and a vase was exchanged as a gift.  They are forever a part of my memory of that evening.

At an amusement park ride, I was the only one in our family willing to go on a particular ride with my daughter. We waited a really long time and when it was our turn to get on, I had to sprint over and lay my flip flops down. Upon my return, my seat next to my daughter had been taken by a woman unwilling to move. So my daughter and I had to ride – separately. I will always remember that woman.

Lots of people are part of our memories. People we don’t know. Strangers. When you interact in life, you can’t limit your memories simply to those you know and love. We engage with everyone around us. The people sitting at the table near us in a restaurant, or on a plane. We remember people who go on tours with us or those who sit near us in church. There are those who serve with us on jury duty or simply those we meet at concert. Wherever it is, certain situations and instances make someone else a part of our memories…forever.

So if someone else is a part of my memories – I am also a part of someone else’s. The question is, am I a good part or a bad part? Am I like the woman who refused to give up my seat or am I someone who helped in an emergency or scary situation? Am I someone who was loving and kind, or someone who was a jerk? I would hope that I am a good, tender part of someone else’s memory.

We may not always know each other’s names. We may not know a life story  - but we do know how someone behaved and acted in regards to us or in regards to a situation/circumstance that we shared.

We can make every effort to be a good part of someone’s life history. To be a part of a memory that makes them smile or one that they cherish. They can say, “remember that lady….? And I can know that I impacted someone’s memory forever in a positive way.

We do rub off on each other. We do make a lasting impact. Even with strangers.

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