Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Early Memories

“When you are older you will understand how precious little things, seemingly of no value in themselves,
can be loved and prized above all price when they convey the love and thoughtfulness of a good heart.”
- Edwin Booth -

Wouldn't it be amazing if we could remember things all the way back to our infant years? Imagine the stories we’d have to tell. But those stories cannot be told, at least for now, because we all suffer from infantile amnesia; the inability to retrieve memories from our early childhood, particularly before the age of three. There are many hypothetical reasons for this, one of them being that the growth of new brains cells during those years overwrites existing cells, which in turn erases the early memories. Yadda yadda yadda...

The things we do, and the way we make people feel outlast our mortality.
My father is no longer with us, but the heartfelt memories he left behind live on.

That being said, I do have a handful of memories that go way, way back. One of them is the letters I used to write to my dad when I was about three or four. On loose leaf paper, I’d scribble rows and rows of squiggly lines, seemingly writing sentences like my older brother who was in school did, and hand them to my father to read. He would thank me, pretend he was reading , and tell me how great my stories were. Not once did he ever dismiss my "writing", or tell me that it was just gibberish, which it clearly was. He was special like that. And perhaps this memory has been retained because it conveyed the love and thoughtfulness of his good heart.

What's the earliest memory you have from childhood?

32 comments:

  1. I love when kids sit down and write like that. So funny to watch
    them too because to them, they are writing real things.

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    1. I still remember how proud I was writing those stories. At the time, I believed everyone could understand what I was saying. Everything is magical when you're a kid.

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    2. That's a great memory. And funny too.

      I still remember sitting at the dinner table in my Wonder Woman costume, eating a sandwich and swinging my little feet.

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    3. OH...that is cute! A min Wonder Woman costume :)

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  2. My earliest memory is from when I was about 2 (according to my older brother who is 6 years old than me). I know that I was a toddler and had trouble climbing the stairs. I won't share as it was a very traumatic event. However, when we have small stolen moments in time that are wonderful, loving and peaceful moments, it is important to hang onto those treasures as they are (in my opinion) more valuable than anything else in this world.

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    1. Absolutely right, Cathy. It's those moments that I have retained. They really warm my heart.

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  3. I suspect that memory is coded in language, and before age three we don't have enough language to create memory. Memory is just a sign of growing intelligence. Love your old photo and your story.

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    1. That is one of the reasons believed for our 'amnesia'. Among quite a few others. It would be fun to remember, though. Perhaps one day the human race will be able to.

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  4. I can remember my 2nd birthday party

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  5. Martha,
    Such a beautiful shot of a beautiful family.
    Your story brought a few tears but 'happy tears'
    You will always have those beautiful memories to treasure.
    I'm sure your dad treasured your 'little letters'
    He was such a good dad!

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    1. He did, Margie. My father was such a wonderful man. I always felt loved by him, and very safe. No matter how long he's gone, I will always miss him dearly.

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  6. A beautiful memory. I don't remember things, but my sister sure can??? this always made me wonder???

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    1. That is very interesting! I'd wonder why, too :)

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  7. No better story. How absolutely wonderful for you. I have great memories of my father, who is no longer alive also. Not all fathers are like that. We were lucky. Great pic. Cheers!!

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    1. Oh yes, we were very lucky. I am so grateful for having had a wonderful father like that.

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    2. I'm glad.

      As far as memories goes - in her book, "You Can Heal Your Life," Louise Hay recalls memories from when she was 18 months old! Cheers!!

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    3. Wow, that is amazing! I've never heard of that book. I'll check it out.

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  8. What a sweet story, Martha. Bobbybegood is right on.... you two were very lucky, indeed.

    My Dad never took time for me at all. awwwWWww.. lol... well? it's true ... he played with my older brothers ... just not a little girl's Dad ... sniff

    that's, unfortunately, my earliest memory ... my brothers going everywhere with my Dad and I could never go because ... girls didn't do this and girls didn't do that... we were to help our Mothers in the kitchen so when the 'men' got home... they had something to eat.

    ahhhh the fifties ... ;)

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    1. That's how it was back then, Carolyn, and I'm sure if women hadn't started to push back, we'd still be serving the men. In some areas, cultures, families...it's still that way. I was very fortunate to have a father like the one I did. He was a very special man.

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  9. It's so nice to have those lovely memories.

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  10. what a sweet memory. I remember doing exactly this. I would scribble loops trying to look as tho I was writing in cursive, and my Dad would tell me what nice handwriting I had. so funny the things we remember.

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    1. We remember these things because they made us feel very special!

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  11. Your Dad had a great gift to make his daughter feel special. It's stayed with you for years.

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  12. What I feel and remember is my mom's Love for me, so strong, even as a baby, I felt it....
    your dad loved you very much, i'm glad

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    1. That is wonderful, Lorraine. Feeling loved like that is the greatest thing.

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  13. I love that photo of all of you so much! You are looking at your father and must have absolutely adored him! My earliest memories are of our old house and the surrounding yard, I must have been about three. Weird because I was alone in these memories, no one else around... now I'm wondering if that was so...

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    1. I did adore him. And he just cherished me. When he died, I felt like part of my foundation was gone; the world seemed to shift beneath my feet. It's been many years since he died, and I'm used to the loss by now, but I always miss him. Every day.

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  14. Martha, this is a wonderful photo and a great memory to have. I think you kids didn't want your father to move at all! Not that he could if he tried!!
    My earliest memory......maybe 3 years old when my sister and I would pretend we could fly. We could you know.....LOL!

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    1. He was a great dad, so yes, we wouldn't have wanted him to move!

      And of course you can fly at three! Everybody knows that :)

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