Monday, July 11, 2005

Memories To Get Me By

Sometimes things come to you in the strangest ways. I have been real negative lately and complaining allot about everything. I was outside feeding my dog Sandy a few minutes ago. I was noticing how she was fully recovered from having a liter of puppies that she tried to kill the day she had them. She destroyed half and the rest went to the SPCA the next day because they were just too small to take care of without her. Then I realized something while watching her bounce around. She had no mental effects of losing all of her puppies. There was no grief, no depression, or any nightmares. Think about if a woman would have lost 8 kids on the same day. If she lived to be 100 years old she would recall that day for the rest of her life. She could never out grow or out live that thought. The event might actually be too much for her mind to take and drive her insane. I lost one three years ago and not a day goes buy when I don't think about it at least once.
The human brain is what sets us apart from all the other animals in the world. It's what puts us on the top of the food chain. I'm not a scientist but experience has shown me that the quality of human life is dictated by how good or bad the memories in your life are and how good those events affected you. Good memory can make you smart, depressed and sometimes crazy. With the exception of names, I am one of those people that can close my eyes and picture exact places and events in my life. I remember very specific times in my life, good and bad ones. All of those have an influence on me everyday. A song, a building, or something on the TV can send me into a time machine and the replay starts. I can not tell you how much money my parents made when I was a coming up. I know it wasn't allot but I couldn't give you a figure to save my life. I would never remember that. I do remember playing LIFE in the kitchen and Michelle getting mad when my daddy would sue her. I remember crabbing trips. I remember the Solomon Burke record my mama used to play. My little Jennifer scheduled her entire day in a composition book. I remember driving to Florida in a rusty pickup and my crazy brother Walter trying to swim with a broken arm. Jerald needed to have Big Bird's Big Red Book read ten times in a row. I remember my grandmother bringing me cinnamon rolls and that crazy song she used to sing before she gave them to me. I remember my other grandmother's sugar cookies and I remember getting up early to go get ice for the family BBQ with my grandpa. When you add all that up with the other ones, you get a pretty swell life even with all my complaining. That's not too bad for a brother from the Ninth Ward.
When I am in a really hopeless mood, I'll drive around with the radio playing and suddenly something will pop into my head. I'll think about watching Monday Night Football with Daddy. I'll think about catching the bus to work with my grandma when I was small. I'll think about the crabbing trip I took with my brothers when I threw the bait away to soon. Sometimes I think about making wrestling belts with Devin out of liquor boxes and black shoe polish when I was a youngster. It makes everything go away for a few minutes. This is the kind of memories I want my children to have. I want my daughter to say to herself "man, I don't know what my daddy did for a living but I remember when me and him played on the swings". If I can get that I will feel at peace with myself.
Young adults tend to live in the moment at hand. The bills are due. The kids are growing and need you more everyday. The people that raised us are starting to get older and they need you more too. There are so many things currently going on that if you ask how life is going the answer may be not that good. Sometimes you just have to put on a good record, grab a drink and close your eyes. If you take a few minutes and use the memories in your mind to draw on good times, that life question may not be as negative as you think. I know I have way more good memories than bad ones. Judge your life on the totality of all the good things from beginning to end. Don't think mine's hasn't been sweet so far.

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