My memory is my weakness.
Some images are recurring and I get fixated and obsessive about keeping them, analysing them, guessing why I get to keep these instead of others. Some of them I wish I could trade because I know there must be better ones floating around somewhere that could enhance my life and happiness, while the vivid ones that crowd my brain make me angry and cynical or filled with guilt and regret. Others are gentle, sweet, fleeting glimpses of the past that make me nostalgic for moments and relationships lost and mostly forgotten. I think about memory quality and memory loss often.
When I was a Christian (I was a child) Easter was my favourite holiday. Although it holds no spiritual significance for me now, I made a conscious effort today to remember Easter when it still meant so much. I don’t remember the bible stories, but I know that Easter = resurrection, and bible stories are generally frightening, so that’s probably all I need to know…
I do remember some beautiful things about Easter church services: sun shining through the stained glass, people shaking hands, the taste of the communion wafer, and a feeling that I could die then and I would be certain to go to heaven. The rest of the time, I was constantly afraid that I would not get into heaven (I think this contributed to melancholy and insomnia), and I associate church at Easter with calming reassurances that I could make it.
Easter morning! Baskets filled with candy! Easter egg hunts! I remember my Mom smiling. She thrives on making kids happy, and she does it well.
I remember family Easter dinners. An assortment of relatives would arrive at my family’s duplex. My parents, my sister and I lived on one side and my grandparents (just my grandmother after I was seven), my cousin and an elderly relative my grandmother cared for in the other. Easter was one of the days where we opened the doors wide and our home became lively and full of love. Being a child meant I was free from the tensions that likely existed between the adults at the time, and felt only pleasure at the visitors and extra attention. I remember a fuzzy, sunny warmth that smelled like ham.
I appreciate these memories. Easter is different now. I mean, it should be, since I don’t believe in the story behind it and I have no kids that I could stuff chocolate into and have family time with. Still, it is nice that I can bring these thoughts with me while I share friendship and a feast with my lovely chosen family this weekend.
I’m glad I took the time to force myself to remember all that I could, despite how frustrated I get with my memory. I’m going to keep the good stuff (hopefully writing it here will solidify this).
I think I might do an Easter egg hunt this year, too.