I have a memory that is both a blessing and a curse. First of all, I remember EVERYTHING (except Geometry)(and some French). It's sometimes a really super fun party trick, because I can sometimes look back at a conversation six months ago and tell you what you said. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not Rain Man or that Australian chick from that new show Unforgettable. It doesn't work that way.
The way my memory works is like this. When I hear a phone number, eight times out of ten it is committed to memory. I usually only need to read through a recipe a couple of times before it is forever ingrained in my mind. My friends call me their personal date book, because I often keep track of their calendars for them as well. These are the upsides.
The downside is that I don't forget. I'm the person that can recall why we were arguing, what I said, what you said, why we said it, and so forth and so on. It can be somewhat negative if you dwell on it. I try not to, but sometimes that aspect of it rears its ugly head. Another downside of it is that it's incredibly hard to forget people that used to be a huge part of your life.
I've been having a rough time lately with remembering the family members I've lost. Maybe it's the holidays and the impending family togetherness. Maybe it's just the things I've been encountering lately. One Friday, a couple of weeks ago, I went out to lunch with my mom, my nanna, and my aunt Kendra. It was a normal fall day, chilly and beautiful. At the restaurant, I ordered Chicken Corn Noodle Soup. Almost immediately I got the soup and took the first bite. Almost immediately tears sprang to my eyes. It tasted just like my great grandmother's famous noodle soup.
I should have prefaced this story with another story. My great grandmother used to babysit me before school when I was a little kid. My mom worked at six in the morning, so she would drop me off at my Gigi and Dado's house around five. When I was sick or had the day off school, my Gigi would make me her special noodle soup. For years, since she died, I've been trying to duplicate the soup. My nanna has tried. My mom has tried. I have tried. All of this, to no avail. The idea was proposed to me that perhaps the reason it could never be copied is because of the memories associated with it.
Ever since then, I've been really missing my Gigi. It's not so much the big things that I miss when it comes to she and my Dado. It's not presents they bought me or things they gave me. I miss crawling in bed with my Dado, early in the morning when I was really young until he woke up. I miss watching Gilligan's Island and The Patty Duke Show with my Gigi. I would give anything to sit in the kitchen and watch her cook again. I treasure, so much, the fact that I got eighteen and twenty-one years with my great grandparents when so many lose their grandparents at that age. Still, I miss them.
There are things that happen everyday that remind me of the people I've lost over the past couple years. The song "100 Years" by Five for Fighting brings me to tears every time I hear it because it makes me think about my Pop Galli. Every time my dog Lincoln begs for food, I think of my mother in law because she used to let her sit on the bench with her while she ate.
To all of you out there that have lost someone too soon (and it's always too soon), my heart goes out to you at this time. The holidays are rough on a lot of people and loss doesn't make it much easier. Remember them and don't ever let that go.