Dorothy Knight Burchett

Memories. They’re everywhere. You can’t avoid them.

Well, maybe you can avoid them, but I can’t. Actually, I should say it’s the triggers to memories that I can’t avoid. It’s like chocolate. As soon as I see chocolate, or someone says the word, “chocolate,” I want some. And, when I see the delicious-looking food being advertised on television, I want to go to Applebee’s or Chili’s.

That’s the way it is with memories.

For instance, when I wash dishes, I think of my lovely granddaughter, whom I haven’t seen in several years. I think of when she was five years old and how we washed dishes together. We had such fun. We got lots of soapy water and talked and giggled as we worked. We had a great time, until her mother told us not to help any more. I guess we were having too much fun.

Or, when I shampoo my hair, I think about my friend when we were teenagers and how we traded thoughts on shampooing techniques. Or, when I shave my legs, I think about my niece. One day she purchased a styptic pencil. It was supposed to stop bleeding from razor cuts instantly. She was so excited that she ran upstairs to the bathroom to try it out. I didn’t want to watch.

When Sweetheart and I are dancing, I sometimes think about the night we met and he asked me to dance. He said he only knew two dances — the Elevator Dance and the Y Dance. He said the Elevator Dance is when you just rock from one foot to the other and don’t take any steps. Or, you put your arms around each other and hug and say, “Why dance?”

Of course, not all memories are pleasant. I try not to think of them. I can’t help it, though. And therein lies the problem. It causes sadness and, sometimes, regret. If I dwell on it, I could go bonkers. That’s not a far stretch for me.

I was just reading about a person who had Alzheimer’s disease the other day. The doctor said he didn’t know if, in their altered state, when they don’t seem to remember familiar people and places and events, if they are remembering things that have no connection with the present. Whatever they may be remembering, I hope they are pleasant thoughts. I hope they are thoughts of people they love and the pleasant things they did together.

And, I hope that, as I continue my journey through this lifetime, whatever memories I may have created in the past, I am creating interesting and enjoyable memories for people with whom I come in contact now.

I would wish the same for you.

(Dorothy Knight Burchett is author of “Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together. Contact her at dorothybutzknight@gmail.com)

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