I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013.
There was a time period in my life when I chose to live in the past. As some of the most important people I had known passed from this world I wanted nothing more than to live in my memories where they still resided. I didn’t want to live in the now where they no longer were or think about a future where they would never be again. I clung to their earthly possessions and photographs as if they could somehow become the person I lost. I thought of them constantly and continually mourned.
Many writing prompts call for a person to delve into their pasts for inspiration. Countless times I have looked back into my memories of those long ago days to a time period where I experienced a depression so all-consuming it is a wonder that I lived to tell the tale at all. For years I went with the flow, drawing from those painful memories and reliving the past through those blog posts over and over again. It was depressing and I wondered who truly wanted to hear my sob story. Still it helped to write it because I was able to finally let the past go once and for all. Believe me when I say, I know about loss and pain. I know them both too well. While there are also many happy memories to sort through over the course of my life, I rarely take them out and dust them off and reminisce any more.
Still one of the best triggers for nostalgia is photographs and I have many. It is funny how simply looking at a photograph will trigger an onslaught of memories. Instantly you are transported back to that time when the picture was initially captured. You remember the circumstances. Past conversations and laughter echo and my heart strings are tugged. A tear of nostalgia wells in my eye. They make me smile. As my children get older occasionally I will see a glimmer of the babies they once were in their facial expressions and mannerisms and I pull out the old photos and reminisce about those days. Time marches on and the memories live in in a deep place in my heart. Every now and then, I take them out and dust them off and remember.
While most of the time I hate to dwell in the past, it is so important to remember the past to be able to understand the present and give direction to the future. It is important to know what got us to where we are today. No matter how much pain occurred, it happened for a reason so that wisdom and strength could be gained. Without it a person would never be able to move forward in life. I don’t think there would be anything worse than to be struck with Alzheimer’s like my Grandma was in later life and robbed of those precious memories with no earthly idea how you got to the place where you are. Memories make us who we are and shape our identity. Without them we become a lost soul wandering the world in a darkness that can only be imagined.