Half Memories

I’m disappointed that I don’t remember things much anymore.  I can’t recall details of events from 10 or more years ago the way my friends do and it upsets them.  Many of my friends like to laugh and casually ask, “hey…remember when Yolanda fell down the stairs and her wig came off ?”   I stare blankly and think, “Yolanda who?  Wait, when was this again?”  They continue to laugh and say, “You know Yolanda.  Everybody remembers Yolanda …this was sophomore year.”  I sit there in a daze thinking, I have no idea who Yolanda is ….and what the heck was I doing sophomore year of high school to where I don’t remember this incident everybody seems to still find hilarious.  I just have to shrug.  I have had to shrug off a lot lately because I suppose my memory really is that bad.  I’m too young to not know what I was up to sophomore year of high school – or am I?

Then it all comes rushing back – I hated high school.  I loathed high school like no other.  It is very common for people to have “half memories” or distorted memories from events that were traumatic for them.  It’s called having a selective memory.  What do people tend to remember the most?  People remember the events that were too traumatic to forget or the awesome ones that make them smile or laugh.  I discovered most events in life that were somewhere in the middle between terrible and great are usually easily forgettable. Sorry “Yolanda”…you were forgettable because I was too busy being a miserable teenager with my pity parties.

I feel so guilty because my grandmother died on January 28 of this year.  She left this world at 98 after living a lot of great years until about seven years ago when she had her first stroke.  This grandmother asked my mother if I could be named Lisa.    My mother agreed which was interesting because this was my paternal grandmother asking this request.  I’m not sure why my grandmother liked that name and I guess I will now never know.  Losing my grandmother has been a source of conflict for me because I want to remember her.  I don’t want to forget what I liked about her.  Yet, I didn’t talk to my grandmother much until I was older.  I grew up with adults that believed children are to be seen and not heard; therefore, we didn’t have conversations until I was well into my 20s.  I didn’t get to have the traditional grandmother-granddaughter relationship when I was a little girl.  I don’t have those memories or did I have them and forget?  This is my constant battle.  I want to believe we had a stronger relationship and maybe the puzzle pieces are missing. I must have placed the pieces under a bed or closet and I need to clean up.  It can’t all be lost.  I didn’t want all the memories to get buried along with her on Monday.

I’m still searching for clues.  I have dreamed of her everyday since the funeral this past Monday.  I need answers.  I need to believe she won’t leave me forever.  I need a memory to hold onto and I just can’t find it and it makes me want to scream!  I don’t know what to do other than to keep dreaming until she comes back to me and shows me where she hid the pieces.



  1. dragonflyzia · February 7, 2015

    You won’t forget her, Yolanda was an insignificant person who was only in your life because you had to be there. I barely remember high school and I couldn’t wait to get out. I found old senior pictures when I was cleaning things out a while ago and I have no memory of most of them. My favorite was the one that said “thanks I never would have passed biology without you ” I looked at it and said I don’t even remember you. 1989 was a long time ago but I truly remember more from grade school. I still remember my grandmother and you will too. Maybe you can hang a photo of her somewhere you will see it everyday? Just until you feel more confident…..good luck 😀

    • livesinldreams · February 7, 2015

      Thank you for your words. I needed to read it today. It makes me feel better.

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