"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce

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Friday, 20 April 2012


I have quite a fragile relationship with memories and I have been pondering on how precious they are over the past year or so.  I am one of those people who cannot bear to be reminded of sad times, so I have the urge to purge the house annually of clutter and I sometimes throw away things that I probably should have kept.

I cannot abide looking through old family photograph albums.  Some people find comfort in having pictures of their loved ones around them but I find it too distressing to see faces of my lost relatives smiling up at me from faded pictures. I even get upset looking at photos of my mother (who is alive and well) and myself when I was a little girl as it makes me feel as if I stole her youth!

I also have the quite unnerving ability to blank things out completely; events that upset me, feelings of betrayal and so on, can all be air brushed clean out of my mind with remarkable ease.  On the one hand this is great as it means I never have to deal with more than I can handle at any particular time in my life; on the other hand it means that I sometimes forget important events and people, as if they never were and of course by the time the memories begin to surface it is usually far too late to take any constructive action.  Memories that are swiftly air brushed can take years to resurface, and even longer to piece together into a logical sequence of events. Maybe sections of the timeline will always be missing or maybe they will reappear, as fresh and vivid as when first experienced - the point is, one never knows if a memory once forgotten will ever be remembered.

Late last night I shared some music videos on my Twitter page; three very poignant songs about the fragility and importance of our memories.  The lyrics are soul stirring and beautiful, the videos haunting and emotive.  It got me wondering if men have the same kind of relationship with precious memories as women do?  It is usually the women of the household who put to one side the baby keepsakes, the nursery art, the family album.  Diary keeping is also viewed as being a feminine pass time.  Is it a responsibility of our gender to be the memory keepers for our family and for ourselves?  Do you have hidden secret memories and keepsakes locked away somewhere; an engagement ring from a previous relationship perhaps; or a love letter from an old flame?  Perhaps you have keepsakes from a lost child, a broken romance or friendship, an old injury, a holiday romance?

All this pondering made me realize that our memories, even the painful ones, serve a vital purpose; they offer us the chance to work through the bad times so that we can move on.  At the same time, happy memories are there waiting in our minds, ready to make us smile as we recall precious moments. Each memory is a treasure, especially the ones that were once forgotten and have resurfaced.  Yes, it can feel like being haunted by the past at times and it can be difficult to bring a memory out through the fog of say, amnesia or dementia; but such memories are never truly lost, only misplaced.

Being a pro-active kind of girl I have decided that I am going to take control of my 'memory files' by starting to create a Memory Box.  This is not something I have ever thought of doing before - I've seen memory boxes in the local shopping center and thought them a waste of money!  Now I begin to understand the benefits of having one.  I own a few treasure chest style boxes and one of these will be my new Memory Box.  I plan to fill it over time with special items; including photos of my time spent in Scotland, cards and keepsakes and so on.  I will put in a single photo of my family, all together on holiday and taken when I was about eight years old.  I want my memory box to represent my past, but also to remind me of the woman I have become today, so I will include some of my publishing keepsakes too.  I want it to be a very positive place; when I open the box and look through the keepsakes I want to remember happy events, achievements and the wonderful people I have had the pleasure of spending time with.  I want my Memory Box to be filled with happy memories...but that is largely down to me isn't it?  Most of all I want a place where I can place those precious  moments in time so that I don't forget everything that matters to me...I want a place to treasure my past, present and future.

That's my weekend project sorted then!  Take a look at the music videos on my Twitter page, listen to the lyrics and see what they conjure up for you personally. Do you have a memory or keepsake box? Do you plan to make one?  I'd love to know how you store your precious memories.

1 comment:

  1. Its something that I have never really talked about with anyone before even though I am an extremely open person, I too hate to look at my childhood photographs, I don't like to look back and feel that I could have done more with my life and said things to those who are no longer with us that I should have, I do however have my own blog and keep photos and memories on there, but only for the past few years! I like to make photo albums of holidays and usually make one as a gift for my friends if they join me! I keep a keepsake box, the things my husband got me when we were first together such as cinema tickets, a pressed rose, a cocktail menu from a restaurant and other random items! I like memories but agree that they can be painful and my friend used to tell me that I had an incredible talent for re-writing history where I would simply write over the bad things with how I should have done things! I'm glad to have found someone who does the same sort of thing! Jemma x x x (and Frank)