Remembering is an art and a science and so much more. It is only perfect to the person remembering. Ask any two siblings or friends about a shared experience and you will probably get two different stories with only a trace of shared exactness. Remembered moments are very personal—some treasured and some not so. What is important to one may only be met with indifference to the other. How long do these memories stay with us is also very individualized. Some affect us so emotionally that we purposely keep them active in our minds. While others we might try to forget and move on. Then again age is a factor that messes with our minds and we can’t immediately recall some memories that we wish to revive. Are memories really important? You bet that they are! Not only do they help us function in life but they are also very important to our emotional life. And what is so frustrating is that all of life experiences are up there. And it is only our ability to access them that gives us fits.
Memories are very important to us as children. We are being taught first by our parents and then by many others as we go through life. If we can’t or don’t remember, life will be much more difficult. Without memory, successful functioning in our society will be more than just difficult. At times it may be impossible. And some memories are the basis for our ‘way of life.’ And where do electronics fit into this picture of our remembered life? How many of the younger set remember telephone numbers or any address of neighbors, local businesses, even our friends and relatives? The answer is with the push of a button. We don’t even have to remember our children’s big moments. It seems that every breath and action of our children is recorded on a smart phone or computer. My grandchild at age FOUR asked his mother for her phone as he wanted to see his birthday party of last year. With a few pushes of the buttons, he dialed in himself and with a delighted giggle enjoyed his previous party. (Grandma couldn’t have found that party, if her life depended on it!) Is the power of our memory being diluted? Or is it just being rewired? And is this a good thing? The answer may not be truly known for a while? At least in a black out, we oldies can sit in the darkness and smile with our memories.
And ‘unto them, a child was born.’ We Christians remember the story. But for how long during the course of the year? How many smart phones register pictures of the Holy Family, the baby Jesus, versus pictures of our decorated houses, Christmas trees, children opening presents, etc. of the season. We actively remember Jesus during Advent, Christmas day, Lent, Easter but how much more? Jesus asked us to ‘remember Him in this life. And He will remember us in the next!’ What smart phone picture can make this promise or be so important as it sits up there in some cloud forever? Does not all creation include all clouds, space, our beloved planet, and all of His creatures in it? ‘Remember Me in this life and I will remember you in the next.” Have we forgotten that this life is a lot shorter than the next? What if God forgets?
Merry Christmas to all on this very special day. May its joy and sacredness be with you always. May all your holiday memories start and end with for’ unto us a child is born.’ May this child, our Savior be with us every day in every way.
by Kathy Reilly