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My 10 year old son brought me a gift.  It was a simple thing, and had only taken a split second of thought on his part, but that's because he knows what makes my heart sing.  It's the things that hold wonderful memories for me that make me want to cry happy tears, like the lock of hair from the first hair cut, the first pair of baby shoes, a tiny mitten to remind me how small his hands were when we first brought him home. 

He found a Spiderman shirt in his room that I couldn't throw away.  It was labeled "Extra Small, and I'd planned to fold it carefully and put it in the treasure chest in my closet.  It had gotten lost in his room.  He brought it to me with a big grin on his face, because he knows how silly I am about those little treasures that used to be his, so long ago, when he was all of four pounds heavy and only as long as my forearm from fingertips to elbow. 

I set it carefully on my bed to put away in a bit, and knew that I had to blog about making memories, again, even as we were planning to make a few more, Today.  We were planning to go bowling this afternoon, and then I discovered that there was going to be a festival downtown and that there would be a lot of traffic on the way to the bowling alley.  Not that that would stop us. 

We took it in stride, since we had planned to be there anyway, and had lunch at one end of the festival, walked the length of the festival, walked back to the car, and detoured around the festival to get to the bowling alley. 

My husband finally got a chance to see a thing that I had seen a while ago, in Oregon, when I discovered that my son really loves to bowl.  My son's approach is truly unique.  He actually dances up to the foul line, to roll the ball.  It's almost like he believes that the dance influences the success of the roll.  Maybe in his mind, it does.  

The thing is that the lightest bowling ball I've been able to find at any alley is 8 pounds. That's four pounds heavier than he was when he was born, and if we had curled him into fetal position, he would have fit inside of one of those bowling balls, if it were hollow.  

Of course we don't roll our kids down a bowling lane hoping that they strike pins with enough force to knock them over.  This is just how I measure things.  I measure one thing by comparing it with another thing.  How much money is this item going to cost me in massages?  I charge $50/hr. for a regular massage.  If an hour of my work won't cover it, would it be covered by an hour of my husband's work?   

I don't know if we all think this way, or if it's just me.  What if we were to apply this thought process to memories.  How would the memory of bowling Today measure up to the memory of giving birth to my son, or giving him his first taste of ice-cream, or hearing him say his first words or first full sentence?  How would the memory of his first look at Tahoe measure up to the memory of Tahoe when my big brother taught me how to water ski?  

What if I had to choose among memories and keep only half of the ones that I've made so far, in order to make room for the ones that I've yet to make?   The thought has me choking with tears, and I take a deep breath and make myself continue the thought hoping to find some logical conclusion or moral.  

The thought of having to pick and choose among precious memories is probably close to home for many of us who have lived with folks who have some sort of dementia.  Those who do probably deal, every day with having to remember enough for at least two people.  

One of my brothers did a wise thing, when our paternal grandmother was still alive.  He asked her to record a sort of autobiography on tape, and he prompted her, every little while with a question.  He was recently able to download that interview onto his computer and share it, that way, with the rest of the family. 

This is why I blog.  This is why I wrote articles for the Petaluma Mothers Club publication, so long ago when my son was a new-born.  I hoped of course that my articles would help other new moms, but I also knew that some day I might need to go back to those writings to refresh my own memory.  I simply can't bear the thought that my mind might some day be ravaged by time, and turned into Swiss Cheese.  

Please forgive the harsh comparison.  It may seem insensitive.  I suspect, though, that it's not far from the truth, and that we should all take a lesson from my big brother, and from those who scrap book as a hobby, and make something tangible of the memories that we really wish to keep.  

Even if we never really need those reminders of our "good old days", simply creating the memory books and auto-biographical writings and recordings can help us to re-live the joyous moments, and if you re-call one of my more recent blogs, I did mention that health and happiness go hand in hand. 

Best Regards, Dear Readers.

Sue Hirsch, Owner of Perfect Day Massage and Reap Your Dream Life Coaching and Hostess of 100 People You Should Know- live streamed via www.blogtalkradio.com

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