I consider myself very lucky in that I inherited a magnificent (albeit, convenient) memory from my father. When a customer came into the family store, my father could tell that customer what they bought the last time, even if the last visit had been a decade ago. There was no need for a computer or a contacts tracking database, my father kept it all in his head. I found this amazing. I remember key details of people when I meet them, but unfortunately their name isn’t one of those details. But other things remain. My sister is always amazed when I can relay an event from when I was preschool age. She says she never remembers these things.

I spent the evening with my sister and my mom looking over old photos, some of which included photos from my mom and dad’s wedding day and from their “pre-kids” era. One photo of mom and dad locked in a playful embrace was particularly enjoyable. They were both 18 or 19 and looked very happy. Jennifer remarked that she doesn’t remember any other photos of mom and dad embracing. Despite my memory skills, I don’t remember one either. It’s not something that was commonly photographed. They hugged, we just didn’t film it.

Even though my mom and dad separated and later divorced, I still vividly remember the last time I saw my dad lovingly gaze at my mother. It’s a memory that brings a smile to my face and it makes me feel like a happy kid again.

There are little random things here and there that stir up a memory or two from my childhood and it’s a good feeling. I was a pretty happy-go-lucky kid and I think, like my dad, that when I tried I could find happiness in just about any situation. I need to remember how to do that more often. That’s a memory I need to hold onto. The ability to be happy.

I like looking through old family photos and coaxing more memories to life. It keeps me grounded and helps me remember my roots. I am who and where I am today because of all the influences that built those memories and that’s an awesome thing.