{nostalgia}: anchor memories

Yesterday in church they spoke about the concept of "anchor memories."  I'd never heard it put that way...such an interesting idea.  Anchor memories are the memories that make you who you are-the big events that you remember.  Some of them are all planned-the first time you go to Disneyland, your wedding, the birth of your children and some of them aren't.  I just wanted to blog a few that popped into my mind yesterday as we were meeting...

I was at a Jr. High dance in maybe 8th-ish grade, dancing with my "boyfriend" at the time and we were dancing to a song I loved at the time...I can't remember which one.  I was singing it to him as we danced and I remember he leaned back and told me that I couldn't sing.  I haven't forgotten that, and I still don't sing confidently.  Someday I'd love some voice lessons, but in the meantime I just keep my voice down.

The one that came to mind as the meeting was going yesterday was my car accident at 16.  My Mom got there first with a neighbor-I wasn't worried to see her.  It was my Dad that I was scared to see.  The car was totaled.  I knew he would kill me.  I thought for sure that my collar bone was broken and the van was so crushed around me that they couldn't get me out right away.  He pulled up on his way home from work-I don't even think he had any idea anything had happened (ah, the world before cell phones) I saw him run up to the van and all the panic in his eyes.  All he cared about was if I was ok.  There were no words about the van-he just rushed to see me.  I bawled-initially out of terror for what he was going to say, and then out of relief.  Sometimes I think you forget that your parents really do love you-especially as a teen for me.

The summer I moved home from college I started going to Institute.  I met this kid that I liked, but the Institute semester ended and then we had a break and then moved to the church by the temple in IF.  I was standing in the foyer when that same kid walked in the door and I ran up to hug him.  There was something significant about this..and I don't know why this particular night was SO significant-but that kid was Jon.  As I left later that night he watched me drive away and decided that he was going to marry me (we weren't even dating or anything).  It's just so strange that I remember that evening so well-but it was Jon that made the huge life decision that night!

I remember chewing bubble gum on the steps of our home in Alabama.  I have few memories of there because I was so little when we left-maybe that's why this stands out.  It was then that my Mom taught me to blow bubbles with bubble gum!  She never chews gum anymore, but that day she did.

I had the most incredible German teacher in high school.  He wasn't just a teacher-he really loved us so much even though he probably wouldn't admit it openly.  I was his aide my Senior year and we were writing lesson plans for his German 2 students.  He was complaining that no matter how short the lesson plan, he was never able to get through the entire thing...ever.  He then said something that really stuck with me "Sometimes we do German, and sometimes we do life.  That's teaching."  I've had that thought ring through my head so many times when I'm trying to accomplish something and it's just not happening.  Sometimes, we don't get to get all the way through our lesson plans...

I was driving in the car with one of my college professors coming back from a commercial shoot.  I was talking about my fear of being on my own, of surviving, of whether or not I should get married and if we could ever survive.  I remember saying "If I'm on my own I won't have health insurance!" and he said "So?  Lots of people don't have insurance..."  I had never thought of that before.  (Ah, the naivety of youth!  I was so spoiled) And there were some years we didn't have insurance...

My parents took my bedroom door.  I had to have been 4 or 5.  The door-slamming ended that day.  That one is burned into my memory forever.  It was terrible!!

I dated a cowboy right before Jon.  He was much older than me and a quiet character.  I think it was good for me to date a grown up for a minute.  I remember telling him that I loved him and was so comfortable with him.  He said "I know.  You love everyone...and is there anyone that you're not comfortable with?"  My mom had said this to me before-so of course I never listened to it.  But hearing it from him made me realize that I had to look deeper in a relationship that just loving someone and being comfortable with them.

Poor Jon's laptop crashed during finals one year.  He stayed up all night trying to fix it only to get an hours worth of sleep so he could head out to take his final.  I had quit a good paying job because I hated it and had just finished working at the halloween store for the season.  We were living in our sad orange apartment-the one we vowed never to have children in because the carpet was at least 40 years old.  That morning I got up, saw Jon off to his final, and found out I was pregnant.  I'm embarrassed to admit that I picked up Twilight to distract me while I waited for him to get home.  I was reading it at the time and needed ANYTHING to take away the anxiety and panic I was feeling.  His face was the best when I told him...I think he was mostly trying not to cry from the stress.  Did I mention that we did want a child?  We did...until it was upon us.  The thing that really stands out is that my Mom rarely calls me-especially without a reason.  She called that morning and was like "I just started thinking about you suddenly and needed to call you...what's up?"

There's so many more.  I think I wanted to reflect because so much of this is knowledge and memories I want to pass on to my children.  I hope I can be as good as my parents were, and I hope my children are as blessed as I was to be surrounded by so many good people with words to share.  I think too it helps me to realize that any moment can be one of these anchor memories...so it's important to be prepared-or maybe not to be prepared at all.  Who knows...

1 comment:

  1. I liked this post a lot. I think I may duplicate the idea someday.

    Makes me hope I give my kid positive anchor memories and not negative ones.


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