I've always prided myself on my excellent memory. I seem to have a continuous memory since I was about four, when I started school. Before that, I have snatches of memories -- seeing a turtle in the water tank, sitting on my father's lap reciting the two times table, and loving the smell of the cheroot he smoked. I remember my mother bathing me in the backyard, feeding me peeled oranges. Smelling my mother's roses in the front yard, while I waited for my brother and sister to come home from school. So many memories.
Yet, when Julie, a long-ago friend from my Convent school days contacted me, I couldn't remember a thing about her, including her name. Same with Ruchi. Now I have very specific memories of sitting in the tree eating our lunch, running about and such, but I cannot recall their faces. I asked Julie to send me a picture, and she did, but nothing is coming back. I spent a great deal of time talking to these two girls, yet my sharpest memories are of girls that I wasn't even friends with. Julie was very kind, saying that we could start on a fresh note, but I'm disappointed that the two people I spent time with every single day, I cannot remember. How fickle.
I do have very clear memories of our home life and friends in the neighborhood -- the day to day stuff. I'm surprised that as much as I loved going to school, I only have scant memories of the girls I spent the most time with at the Convent. I remember many of the nuns, the school yard, the great big brush-land in the back, climbing trees, putting my hand out for a rap with the ruler, but not my friends, Julie and Ruchi. Deep down, I must remember something because these are two of my favorite names and they have made an appearance in some of my stories.
This makes me realize that I must hurry up and write down some of the stories about my mother. I have already written about half a dozen of them, but I want to have a little book of stories about her for my children, so that after I am long dead, the children will have something tangible about her. Although they know many stories about her, I don't know whether they'll remember after I'm gone.
I'm curious, how many of you write family stories? For yourself or to give as gifts?