Often our memory can play tricks on us. My mum told me so much about her childhood that I feel as though I went to Burnham Beeches in a Charabanc with her, together we walked along the cliffs at Sidmouth in Devon, I suffered great distress with her when the telegram arrived telling her that her brother was missing in action. Of course I can't have been there but it is all very real in my imagination. I feel part of it.
My husband bought me a book by Iris Murdoch. She suffered from Alzheimer's late in life and it must have been terrible. Anyone who has had anything to do with loved ones who have lost their memories knows how tragic and devastating it is. What are we without are memories? Where does that person go? I think they must be waiting in the wings somewhere, all their memories sort of on hold.
"Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you" sang Simon and Garfunkel.
My husband relies a lot on my memory for facts, he is better at remembering faces. Sometimes my memory lets me down. Yesterday he asked me the name of the hotel we stayed at in the Cotswold's last year. Complete blank. I could however remember arriving at sundown and having drinks on the terrace with our friends, the stunning view of the Forest of Dean, the array of Victoria sponges to celebrate the birthday girl called Victoria, the beautiful walk to the Beacon, the drive through the Cotswolds and stopping at a very pretty pub in one of the most charming villages I had ever seen, but the name of the hotel escapes me. One of my favourite "Family favourites" songs was Dean Martin's "Memories are made of this", along with Perry Como, Magic Moments and all the glorious happy music of the fifties.