Celebrating the Gift of Memory

I ate a bowl of cereal this morning. An ordinary bowl of Corn Flakes. I sprinkled a little sugar atop the flakes before pouring on the milk. And I remembered a story of my mother’s.

When she was a teenager, just out of high school, the family experienced a great loss. One of her sisters, still young herself, but married with young daughters, died unexpectedly. My mother was sent to care for the little girls. She had many memories of that time, many deep life lessons learned. Some of the memories were heart wrenching- like the long-haired little niece who cried when she brushed and braided her hair because “You don’t do it like Mommy!” But some of the memories were a little more light-hearted- like a morning when she set bowls of Corn Flakes before the little girls, sprinkled with sugar, topped with cold milk. The first one to taste them looked at her with shock on her face and exclaimed, “Aunt Verrena, why did you put salt on my cereal?!”

I love it when a story, a memory pops up, just out of the blue. All it takes is some small link to bring moments from the past to life, to be enjoyed or pondered again. Memory is an amazing, ordinary part of life that I celebrate today.

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6 Responses to Celebrating the Gift of Memory

  1. Linda Baie says:

    You’re right, the memories that pop up, funny or serious, are to be treasured. Love this, Diane. Unless they tell us, as this little one did, we don’t know what thoughts might be running through their minds. She must have thought Aunt Verrena was crazy! And what a sad thing to have happened. A young cousin of mine died way too young, and we all still mourn and remember her with love.

  2. Terje says:

    Salty, sad, sweet, funny. Lovely celebration.

  3. Deb Frazier says:

    I lost my sister just four short years ago. She was too young to go. While she had disabilities that complicated her health, we were not expecting her passing at the young age of 50. Some days memories of her pop into my mind and I am flooded with the happy feelings of the day when we were together experiencing this for the first time.

  4. jarhartz says:

    A sweet celebration of memories. Beautifully written.

  5. Your memory brought back a memory of when I used to eat corn flakes (almost every morning) when I was younger. I put the sugar on after the milk though. That way it didn’t dissolve as quickly and I could taste more of it. 🙂 Thanks, Diane!

  6. cvarsalona says:

    This is a wonderful celebration of the beauty of the gift of memory. The salt on cereal story is precious.

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