Keeper of Memories
Sometimes I have conversations with people and it brings out a thought that I have pushed deep into my mind.
Recently, I was speaking with the person who helps us do our taxes. He was telling me one of the hard parts of watching his father pass away from dementia was the loss of connection to the memories they shared together. I knew exactly what he meant. Jim is my connection to my past and he was the keeper of my memories.
We have been together over 19 years. Not nearly long enough. Yet, it is long enough to have accumulated stories and treasures of a history made together. Our vacations. Our first home. Our fights and our make-ups. Our favorite shows and our favorite meals.
Our son Brad asked me about where we used to eat all the time when we lived in Missouri. I drew a blank. I needed Jim to help, but he couldn’t. I miss his memory of our lives together. I miss knowing that we would be able to recall days of old together. Isn’t a huge part of a marriage keeping your history in a sacred place that the two of you share and have knowing looks and phrases and touches?
We dreamed of travels we would take, discussed what we would do with the house when the kids were gone, and spent way too many hours thinking of a far-off future that will never be.
There were, of course, some rough patches. We were lucky to make it to the five year mark. But we loved each other and wanted to make it work. We would laugh and say maybe we would even hit our 50-year anniversary like my parents. Isn’t that why we struggled through the hard times? We held firm to the belief we could make it if we stuck together and worked on our marriage. Neither one of us are quitters, and so we fought, made up, went to counseling and remained a team.
Now, he has left me in so many ways. He can’t help me recall those times together. He can’t help me remember the sunsets we watched or the New Year’s Eve we celebrated in Vegas. He can’t help me relive the meals in Martinique or sitting at home on the couch waiting for a new baby to arrive. He can’t help me remember “our” songs.
I am the lone keeper of our memories together. The early years of our family. There is a deep sadness that sweeps over me with this realization.
I am now tasked with holding these memories even closer to the chest, for me, for him, and for our story to be remembered and shared with our children and their children.