Welcome to Day #13
of my A-Z series,
Add Greater Meaning
and Find More Purpose
Today’s letter is “M”
The topic: Meaningful Memories
My Memories Haiku
All have memories
Some more vivid than others
We’d like some to fade
But, not really…
Even painful memories serve a purpose.
As we reflect on them years later, we uncover truths –
Truths about ourselves we may not have realized at the time.
That’s what makes them meaningful!
As a writer who loves to write poetry, and someone who is exploring the significance of memories for adding meaning to our lives, I was fascinated by this
Question #3 was, “Is there anything you dislike about being a poet?”
Poet Kjmunro responded, “Sometimes I wish that I could be more comfortable in a crowd – but that may have more to do with being an introvert than being a poet. Writing poetry helps me to make sense of my life & my experiences, & because of it I have pushed my boundaries, accepted challenges, & pursued opportunities that have enriched my life… I can’t imagine my life without it.”
(You can click on the interview title above and see more of this meaningful post.)
Likewise, I cannot imagine my life without the gift of writing – both poetry and prose. I enjoy writing poetry. I love reading it. I treasure the opportunity to share it. Writing is a way to keep memories alive. It is a way to make sense of my life and my experiences. It is a way to express gratitude, to plan ahead, and to reflect. It is a way to push boundaries and accept challenges.
Yesterday in our Writers’ Group, the writing prompt was, “Tell Us About Someone You Used to Love.” The prompt brought to mind some very vivid, meaningful memories. Let me share my story with you:
Someone I Used to Love
I need to get up and face the student body on this October Spring Rally Day. But, I don’t want to.
I have made it as far as the front steps of the historic, brick Turlock Union High School before sitting down and letting the tears fall.
The sun is bright. Because it’s school spirit day, I have on one blue and one gold sock. My black and white saddle shoes are tucked beneath my poodle skirt with layers of crinoline fluffing around me. The blue and gold pom-poms lie motionless beside me. I look for the usual friends. No one approaches. They must all be inside already. Loneliness rings as the bell sounds the warning: first period will begin in ten minutes
What is it that has created such reluctance and dread in my soul?
About a week ago, my tall, athletic ex-boyfriend approached me in the hallway. “You know you don’t have any friends. The only reason people say Hi to you is because you say Hi to them first. If you didn’t, no one would talk to you.”
Oh my! Could it be true? Why was Richard telling me this? I used to love him. We used to have great fun together. Mutt and Jeff, they called us. Just because I broke up with him and am now dating soeone my own size, does that mean this 6’4″ basketball star should suddenly start bullying me?
Back in the 50’s I don’t think I knew the term “bullying.” I didn’t realize that’s what Richard was doing. His words cut deeply.
I decided to test out his hypothesis. I stopped cheerfully greeting everyone I saw with a “Hi!” Instead, I looked at them, waiting to hear their greeting first.
Richard was right! Most kids just looked quizically in my direction and walked past – or worse yet – they didn’t look at me at all. I felt like I must have forgotten my deodorant that day!
Now I’m feeling alone and abandoned on the front steps. I have ten minutes to get to class. With a deep sigh, I get up, take a deep breath, pick up my pom-poms, and head inside. My buddy, Phil, voted “Best Dressed Guy” in the senior class, walked up to me when I entered the building. I glance in his direction.
“What’s wrong with you lately?” he asked. “You’re being so stuck up!”
I told him what Richard had said.
“Oh, for cryin’ out loud,” he reprimanded, taking me by the shoulders.
I looked up into his caring blue eyes with tears in mine. “But Richard…” I sobbed, “he said…” I couldn’t go on.
Phil wrapped me tightly in his arms right there in the middle of Turlock High’s crowded hallway. Backing up a bit, he put his hands on my shoulders again. He leaned down and whispered, “He’s just jealous – and hurt. A big basketball star can’t stand it that his girl left him for a 5’3″ Stumper. He’s just trying to hurt you back. You just be the girl you always were. Don’t let anyone take away your perkiness.”
I used to love Richard. Now I just feel sorry for him. I saw him coming toward me as I headed for class.
“Hi!” I perked in his direction and walked on – shoulders squared – head held high.
Reliving these vivid memories more than sixty years later, I realize how impactful Richard’s words and Phil’s encouragement were. It was an important growing up experience. I haven’t let anyone take away my perkiness since then.
Meaningful memories stay with us – and change us – forever.
Thank you, Phil, and Richard!
Do you have a meaningful memory?
One that helps you make sense of your life and experiences?