Thursday, July 29, 2010


Sometimes at night, when I can’t sleep, I find myself trying to think back as far as I possibly can. I try to figure out what my earliest memory is.

I have a very strong visual memory. I can recall images of some long ago events like they happened this morning. I can remember faces, but I have a hard time remembering names sometimes, even the names of people I was really close to. I can give you directions to almost anywhere by giving you landmarks, but I can’t remember the names of the roads. I can remember pointless details and lots of facts that I’ve learned over the years, but I would never find my car keys if I didn’t keep them on a hook by the door.

Memory is my blessing and my curse. There are things I’m so glad I remember and many things I wish I could forget.
But I was trying to remember my earliest memory, and I find it’s very hard to place certain memories chronologically. In posting on this blog, I’ve had to contact my mom several times to get the time sequences right on things and recall some of the things said. But I think my earliest memories are just visual.

I remember a shed in the backyard of the house we lived in when I was around 3 years old. I also remember the basement flooding in that house, and another “episode” where my older brothers were teasing me in that basement by singing the song “Sherry” by the Four Seasons, and replacing the name “Sherry” with the name “Davey.” They made me cry.

Don’t you hate them for that? Mean old big brothers. (We have resolved all of our former conflicts, in case you’re wondering.)

I think the earliest memory I can pull up is some images of the inside of a crib, with some toys. My mom has confirmed these images. Apparently I had some health problems when I started out and I spent a lot of time in that crib with some plastic toys which I was determined to consume.

Do you have an earliest memory? I’d really like to hear what it is. I find it fascinating. Are your earliest memories visual or do you remember sounds or is it more about an event or a circumstance? Some people I know have almost no memories from when they were very young and others seem to remember everything.

Einstein said, “Memory is deceptive because it is colored by today's events.” But it’s also all we have sometimes. So we make due with it.

Image of human brain synapse in the state of storing a memory,
by Michael A. Colicos, UCSD.
For me, storing them is no problem.
Finding where I stored them is the problem!

Psalm 77:11-12
Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2010

1 comment:

  1. Two of my clearest early ones were both event driven - shoving my friend Pauline down the basement stairs, and getting a shock while plugging in the Christmas tree. Both were 1969, because my sister hadn't been born yet. I also remember getting bit by a rabbit at the Livonia Mall with my grandpa, which may have been earlier still. At least I think that was the case. I also remember visually getting a blue toy car you could ride in...and running and sliding across the slippery kitchen floor and whacking my head into the cupboards. All probably late 60's, I'm guessing. 3 years old or so.


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